Package Choice Photography Articles

5 Mistakes Even Professional Photographers Make

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It’s no surprise that even the most experienced, professional photographers still make critical mistakes that hurt their business and bottom line. It’s often not even a matter of making photography mistakes. In fact, many of the most common mistakes the pros make aren’t directly associated with photography at all, but instead with the business side of things.

Know the pitfalls to avoid in your quest to become a pro, have a look at these five common mistakes that even the pros make.

Not Having Proper Insurance

One of the very first purchases that many photographers make after getting their kit set up is insurance. It’s safe to say that most photographers insure their gear because it is expensive and losing it, having it stolen, or somehow damaged could spell disaster for a business. Additionally, insurance to cover computers and other support equipment is needed, as are policies to cover business property, fire damage, a business vehicle, and real estate, to name a few.

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How many stories have you heard about a photographer getting sued for negligence or wrongdoing of some sort? Photographers must have the proper insurance to protect themselves from these situations as well, which is often covered by an Errors and Omissions policy. This type of insurance protects you in the event that you make mistakes that cause a client to seek damages. Whether losing a memory card full of photos from the wedding you shot the day before or double booking clients for a studio session, these sorts of mistakes, as unintentional as they might be, could result in a lawsuit. As a small business owner with a reputation to uphold, a lawsuit could spell disaster.

An Errors and Omissions policy not only protects you from financial loss, but it also often covers legal fees, and in some cases will pay for an event to be completely re-staged. What’s more, this type of policy doesn’t kick in only when you’re in court, but rather provides you protection from day one so you can work without worry of causing irreparable harm. That’s peace of mind every photographer needs to have.  Don’t make this mistake, read more about Errors and Omissions here.

- Source and used with permission: Package Choice

Not Keeping Up With Marketing

Marketing is one of those critical business activities that can make or break your success. At first, it might even be fun - writing blogs about your new business, creating YouTube tutorials, and being active on social media might be something you look forward to tackling.

As time goes by and your business grows, it can be difficult to find the time to keep on top of your marketing activities. You might neglect posting on social media for a few days, or even a few weeks. The blog that used to have new posts every week might be months overdue for a new article. Business cards might be old and out of date. With bookings from morning to night and all the other activities related to running a business, time to eat, sleep, and spend time with family and friends, marketing can fall by the wayside.

Marketing is vital to your ability to continue to be busy with bookings. If you stop advertising and stop interacting with potential clients, you will restrict your business’ footprint, and you might see a drop-off in the number of incoming phone calls and emails., No matter how busy you are, carve out time each week to keep your marketing fresh!

Spending Too Much on Gear

Gear lust is real, and it is a problem for photographers of all ability levels, and even for photographers that have been in the business a long time and should know better. The pros understand that a new camera body doesn’t equal better photos and that a $10,000 super telephoto lens isn’t necessary if their primary job is weddings or portraits. Yet, many professionals still buy gear they don’t need, if only to keep up with the Joneses and try out the latest, greatest photography equipment.

Just like buying a car, buying new photography gear is expensive and should only be done after a thorough examination of your needs, wants, and finances. That $10,000 super telephoto lens might be a lot of fun to play around with, but if it doesn’t help improve your ability to provide services to your clients, perhaps that money can be put toward a better purpose.

Not Accounting for All Expenses

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An issue closely related to spending too much money on gear is simply underestimating the cost of doing business. Running a business is not cheap. Aside from all the expensive photography gear you really need (as opposed to that which you merely want), there’s office equipment, office supplies, fees for professional associations, insurance premiums, advertising costs, travel expenses, and so on and so forth.

When establishing prices, take all these expenses into account. Although charging $50/hour might sound like a really great hourly wage, after paying all the expenses, you might only be bringing home $25/hour. The point is, that all the costs of business add up, so be sure you’re crunching the numbers and establishing your pricing plan accordingly.

Losing Passion

It’s one thing to take photos that you want to take. It’s another thing to take photos that clients want you to take. There will be plenty of times that your vision doesn’t jive with your client’s vision. There will be assignments that bore you, clients with whom it’s a struggle to get along. All these things can diminish your passion for your profession.

To keep the flame alive, it’s critical to set aside time on a regular basis to step away from photography the job and enjoy photography the hobby. Take a couple of hours here and there to go out and shoot what you want. Find 30 minutes one afternoon to edit some personal photos that have been sitting on your memory card. Go on a quick photography adventure with your kids, your brother, your husband, or some friends. The time away from the grind will go a long way in helping you retain your passion for photography, and that will show in the images you create for clients.

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Best Photography Insurance Companies of 2018

best photography insurance companies of 2018

Here we are at the end of 2018, and hopefully you and your business made it through the year without any catastrophes.

But if you experienced some trouble along the way - a broken camera, a lost lens, or getting sued by an angry client - you know the value of having good photography insurance to have your back.

If you don't have photographer's insurance, you're playing a very dangerous game. All it takes is for one major event to go wrong, and you could end up losing your business!

In 2019, make sure your business is protected with coverages from one of the best photography insurance companies.

Athos Insurance Services

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Only one photography insurance company can be at the top of our list, and that company is Athos Insurance Services.

There’s a lot of reasons why Athos Insurance is our top choice, but chief among them is their dedication to customer service.

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If you’ve spent any time working with big insurance companies, you know the feeling of being lost and confused and treated like just a number. With Athos Insurance, however, your needs are put first, and you genuinely feel as though you’re the #1 priority. That doesn’t occur much these days!

Another factor in this ranking is the sheer breadth and depth of the coverages that Athos Insurance offers. Coverage for your gear through their Inland Marine (equipment floater) product is available online 24/7. They are also working on a General Liability product specifically for photographers coming in early 2019! 

When it comes to covering your gear, accidental damage and theft is always included. Also, damage that results from lightning and wind, hail, flood, fire, smoke, and water is covered too. Heck, even damage resulting from earthquakes and explosions are covered as well. 

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Though you hope that you don’t have to go through catastrophes, it’s nice to know that your photography insurance company has your back with replacement cost coverage just in case. Better still, events like damage during transit or shipping are covered too. Athos automatically included worldwide equipment coverage.

Athos Insurance makes the process of getting insured as streamlined as possible. In fact, you can get a fast online quote in short order, purchase your coverage online, and customize your coverage quickly and easily 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For a photographer that’s got little time to spare, being able to get the insurance you need without spending a lot of time doing it is a Godsend!

That's just a few reasons why we recommend Athos Insurance Services. See for yourself why they're our top choice!

Learn more about Athos Insurance Services


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PackageChoice offers comprehensive coverage for photographers that combines a number of essential coverages into a single program.

That includes Errors & Omissions Insurance, which is designed to protect you should you be sued as a result of allegations of negligence or wrongdoing on your part or the part of one of your employees. This program not only covers your legal fees but also pays for damages to the plaintiff if they are awarded a monetary sum. 

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PackageChoice also offers Camera Insurance that extends from gear that’s in your possession to gear that’s in transit or on location. What’s more, this coverage protects you whenever and wherever your gear might be damaged, lost, or stolen within the U.S. and Canada. International coverage can be added as well.

What’s nice about PackageChoice is that their camera coverage is paid at replacement cost - damaged or stolen equipment is replaced at the current cost, not what you originally paid for it. Generally a modest limit of rented equipment insurance is automatically included in the policy so that you won’t pay the rental house premiums when renting gear. When you require that Certificate of Insurance for your camera rental house (or venue) rest assured it will be taken care of expeditiously - PackageChoice issues thousands of them every year.

If you suffer that unfortunate claim that lands your camera or lens at the repair shop for five weeks, in many cases PackageChoice will reimburse you for the cost of renting a temporary substitute. Often its included automatically but be sure to discuss this important option with a PackageChoice insurance expert at 866-977-4725. 

Of course, getting photography insurance isn’t just about the types of coverage available, but it’s also about the price. 

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PackageChoice offers affordable policies with multiple payment plans available, that way you can tailor your payments to your cash flow. Whatever your needs, PackageChoice can help you customize your coverage so you have maximum protection.

With underwriting from many different large insurance companies including The Hartford, CNA, and Travelers Insurance, you have a wealth of size, experience, stability and knowledge to rely on. Combined with the ease with which you can get coverage - just fill out a quick online application and a free, no-obligation quote will arrive soon - you have the makings of a top photography insurance company!

Learn more about Package Choice Photography Insurance

National Photographer's Insurance

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Another solid option for photography insurance is National Photographer's Insurance.

These guys have been in business for over eight decades and have a proven track record of top-notch customer service and excellent coverage options.

What makes this company such a great choice for photographers is that it exists to specifically serve the needs of the photography industry.

That means that they have the specialized knowledge and understanding of this line of work that allows them to create customized coverages just for you.

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As a result, National Photographer's Insurance has a host of coverages that any photographer will appreciate.

That includes business personal property coverage to protect you in the event someone breaks into your studio and steals your gear.

That also includes general liability coverage that protects you if you're sued as a result of a client slipping and falling on your property.

Other policies address common occurrences for photographers, including equipment coverage for damage to your gear when on-location and professional liability protection to cover instances of professional errors, neglect, or omissions. Additionally, they have a business income and extra expense coverage option that provides up to 12 months of coverage for lost income as a result of fire, flooding, or other covered losses that forces you to close your doors.

In other words, National Photographer's Insurance offers comprehensive coverage that gives you peace of mind and protects you when things don't go quite as planned!

Learn More About National Photographer's Insurance

NEXT Insurance

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For NEXT Insurance, your coverage should be easy to get, customized to your needs, and affordable.

With that approach, it's no wonder they land on our list of the best photography insurance companies of the year.

Not only can you buy your policy 100-percent online, but NEXT Insurance offers various payment plans that make it easy to keep your cash flow going. Better still, plans start at as little as $21 per month. Talk about affordable!

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All plans include general liability coverage that protects you in the event that a client is injured and sues you and if you accidentally damage someone's property during a photo shoot.

Additionally, NEXT Insurance offers coverage against advertising claims. So, if you have permission to share the photos you took of a client for advertising purposes, but they don't like the photo you shared and then sue you, you're covered.

NEXT Insurance really has thought of it all. Great coverage. A simple, easy process for buying a policy. Affordable prices. You can't beat that!

Learn more about NEXT Insurance

Hiscox Insurance Company

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Rounding out our list of the best photography insurance companies of 2018 is Hiscox Insurance.

With origins that date all the way back to 1901, Hiscox has built a reputation as one of the leading specialist insurance companies in the country.

Since they target specific types of insurance for specific industries like photography, they have unparalleled expertise in helping you find the right coverage for your specific needs.

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Among their numerous types of coverage are general liability, professional liability, and property insurance, each of which can be obtained through brokers or directly online.

General liability insurance covers you in case you or your equipment cause someone bodily harm or property damage. It also covers you against libel and defamation claims from clients.

Professional liability coverage from Hiscox covers you in a number of different situations, from having an dissatisfied client that sues you to having gear that fails and prevents you from delivering on your contract obligations.

Finally, Hiscox offers business owner's insurance for photographers that helps balance coverage for your small business while also protecting your business equipment.

Like the other companies on our list, Hiscox really has thought of it all, and with their dedication to putting the customer first, they're a great choice for your photography insurance needs.

Learn more about Hiscox Insurance

We Recommend

Best Photography Insurance Companies of 2019/2020

Best Photography Insurance Companies 2019 2020

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Though buying photography insurance might not be as exciting as buying a new camera or a new lens, it’s nonetheless a critical component of building a successful photography business.

 Lost or damaged gear, a break-in at your studio, fires and floods, or lawsuits from clients can easily derail your business for the short-term, if not for the long-term. The financial consequences could prove to be disastrous, so much so that your doors remain permanently closed.

But with the right photography insurance coverage, you can account for unexpected events and calamities, and often do so quickly and easily online.

And, if you work with one of our picks for the best photography insurance companies, you can find coverage at a price you can afford!

Table of Contents

Best Photography Insurance Companies: Full Frame Insurance

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What people love about Full Frame Insurance is that they offer flexible options to meet your specific photography insurance needs.

Let’s say you just need short-term insurance to cover your first event or photoshoot. In that case, Full Frame Insurance has you covered with short-term general liability insurance that gives you one to three days of consecutive coverage, starting at just $59.

That’s a small price to pay to have photography insurance while you get your first gig under your belt!

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But if you’re a seasoned pro with more robust insurance needs, Full Frame Insurance offers annual policies as well. These annual policies are ideal for photographers that need general liability coverage alongside their product liability coverage.

Either way, you can configure the short-term or annual coverage you need to match your specific situation. You can also add equipment insurance if needed, that way your expensive photography gear is covered too—it doesn’t matter if you’re at home, abroad, or in transit.

No matter what kind of coverage you select, Full Frame offers  an instant online quote with an option to purchase right there and then. You get instant coverage that is not location-specific, 24/7 access to policy documents, a downloadable certificate of insurance, and no deductible on liability claims.

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Full Frame Insurance understands the kinds of exposures that exist for small business owners, which is why they offer protection from third-party liability claims like property damage or bodily injury. Their policies may also help address third-party medical claims or legal fees that arise from covered claims.

Full Frame  also offers specialized wedding photography insurance. With this policy, you can address the potential for liability as you photograph hundreds of people in multiple locations over the course of a demanding day.

Of course, affordability is a concern, and Full Frame Insurance understands that. As a result, their policy has customizable options  that ensure you don’t overpay for the coverage you need. It’s that kind of dedication to the customer that got Full Frame Insurance on our list of the Best Photography Companies of 2019 & 2020!

Learn more about Full Frame Insurance

Best Photography Insurance Companies: Package Choice Insurance 

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If you’re looking for comprehensive coverage for your photography business, Package Choice Insurance is definitely worth a look.

For starters, they offer a camera insurance policy that covers your gear whether it’s in your possession, on location, or in transit from Point A to Point B. For photographers that are constantly on the road, that’s the kind of peace of mind you want!

Furthermore, their camera insurance policy protects your gear wherever it might be damaged in the United States or Canada. The policy also covers theft and lost gear, and international coverage can be added to protect you when you’re abroad.

This coverage is paid at replacement cost as well. That means that gear that’s stolen or damaged is replaced at today’s value, not what you paid for it two or three years ago. Likewise, Package Choice usually includes a modest limit of rented equipment insurance so you don’t have to pay the full price to rent the gear you need while yours is being replaced.

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If your gear is damaged and ends up in the repair shop for weeks on end, Package Choice will often reimburse you for the cost of renting substitute gear. This is typically an automatic inclusion in the policy, but it’s important to consult with a Package Choice insurance expert to get the specifics.

You can also get Errors & Omissions insurance, which is specifically designed to protect you in the event you’re sued by a client. Whether you or one of your employees is accused of wrongdoing or negligence, this policy will cover your legal fees and pay damages to the plaintiff should they be awarded a monetary sum.

The other benefit of getting your insurance from Package Choice is the price.

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The folks at Package Choice understand that starting and maintaining a successful business takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and money, so their policies are designed to be affordable. Heck, they even have multiple payment plans available to help you meet your insurance needs without breaking the bank.

Package Choice has underwriting from insurance companies like CNA, Travelers Insurance, and The Hartford, so there is a vast breadth and depth of experience, knowledge, and stability on which you can rely. All you have to do to get started is to fill out a short online application, and you’ll get a free, no-obligation quote soon thereafter! 

With policies for computers and electronic devices, business personal property, general liability, and various other coverages, Package Choice has all your bases covered so you can concentrate on growing your business without worry of what will happen if disaster strikes.

Learn more about Package Choice Photography Insurance

Best Photography Insurance Companies: Athos Insurance Services 

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Athos Insurance Services makes our list of the best photography insurance companies of 2019/2020 due in large part to the wide range of coverages they offer.

Regarding your gear, you can get coverage for all sorts of maladies, from flood and fire damage to water and smoke damage to wind, hail, and lightning damage. Natural disasters, acts of terrorism, falling objects, theft, and accidental damages are also covered!

What’s more, Athos Insurance Services will cover your gear for damage during transit or shipping, and they offer an Inland Marine (equipment floater) policy too! All of this coverage is worldwide in scope, so no matter if you’re at home, across town, or around the globe, your gear is protected.

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Add to that policies for short-term rented equipment, annual production equipment, and annual photography equipment, and you have coverage for all sorts of gear-related scenarios you might encounter. 

And getting all these coverages is easy, too. Just hop online, fill out a form, and get a fast online quote in a snap. You can even purchase your coverage online and customize it to your needs 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Perhaps best of all, Athos Insurance Services has five-star customer service, which is a big deal when you’re shopping for insurance.

Instead of feeling like just one of many clients, Athos Insurance Services ensures that you feel like you’re their top priority. If you have questions or concerns, they’ll work hard to ensure that you have all the details you need to make an informed decision that’s right for your particular needs.

Learn more about Athos Insurance Services

Best Photography Insurance Companies: Next Insurance

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One of the primary reasons why Next Insurance makes this list is because they have made it so simple for photographers to get the coverage they need.

Not only can you get the policy you want online, but you can also get live certificates of insurance and file claims on your schedule online 24/7. Talk about convenient!

Next Insurance has also made sure that their plans are affordable for any photographer. Their plans start at just $21 per month, which is a small price to pay for complete peace of mind.

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photo by Delmaine Donson via iStock 

The plans offered by Next Insurance include general liability insurance with at least $500,000 occurrence limits and $500,000 aggregate limits - with a $0 deductible. Other plans increase those limits to as much as $1,000,000 per occurrence and $2,000,000 aggregate, again, with a $0 deductible. 

General liability insurance from Next Insurance is vital because it protects you in case a client suffers an injury that’s your fault or you accidentally damage a client’s property. You already have enough to worry about - you don't need to worry about being sued too!

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You can also get coverage against advertising claims. For example, if you have permission from a client to use their photos as part of your marketing, but they don’t like the photo you selected to use and they sue you, you’re covered!  

Soon, Next Insurance will also have photography equipment protection as well.

Easy-to-get coverage, great prices, and the policies you need...what more could you want?! 

Learn more about Next Insurance

Best Photography Insurance Companies: National Photographer’s Insurance

best photography insurance companies national photographers insurance 

Yet another excellent choice for your photography insurance needs is National Photographer’s Insurance.

As you might surmise from their name, National Photographer’s Insurance specializes in meeting the insurance needs of photographers. That means they have the industry know-how that helps them understand exactly what the best policies and coverages are for photographers like you.

As a result, they have one of the most comprehensive collections of policies around…

That includes general liability coverage that offers protection from lawsuits, like a client that’s injured in your studio. Likewise, you can get business personal property coverage that protects you in the event that there’s a break-in at your office and someone absconds with your photography gear.

best photography insurance companies 2020

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You can add a policy for equipment coverage to protect against loss from damaged gear as well as a professional liability policy that covers any professional errors, omissions, or neglect on your part.

There’s even business income and extra expense coverage to help you get through up to 12 months of lost income as a result of flooding, fire, or another covered loss that forces you to close up shop for an extended period of time.

With more than 80 years in the business, National Photographer’s Insurance knows what you need, which is why they have such comprehensive coverage offerings. Their proven track record of excellent customer service and professionalism make them an excellent choice for your photography insurance needs. 

Learn more about National Photographer's Insurance


We Recommend

Get Ready for Imaging USA 2019!

get ready for imaging usa 2019Image Credit: Sean Pavone via iStock

Imaging USA is one of the top photography conventions in the country, and it’s coming up fast.

The best of the best in the photography industry will meet in Atlanta, January 20-22, 2019, to learn, share, and show off the latest in photography gear.

The 70,000 square foot trade show is sure to be at the top of attendees’ must-see list. But with all that space filled with awesome vendors, it can be difficult to decide which booths to visit. This guide will help with that!

Below, I’ve listed the photography companies I’m most excited to see at Imaging USA.

Click Props Backdrops

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Of all the companies I’ve come across in the last year or so, Click Props Backdrops has quickly rocketed to the top of my must-see list.

Not only do they craft beautiful backdrops (more on that in a minute…) but the Click Props Backdrops team - led by Kat Armendariz - have an infectious passion for photography and helping others bring their creative vision to life.

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I’ve spoken to Kat numerous times, and each time we talk I come away with a renewed excitement for photography.

What’s more, I’m always impressed by her team’s desire for continual improvement, to create products that are beautiful, easy to use, and durable.

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Click Props Backdrops has a collection of hundreds of backdrops, floorgrounds, and combo sets of just about every style you can imagine.

And regardless of the style, Click Props Backdrops products are constructed with 550gsm vinyl, so you know that your backdrop will pretty much last forever. 

But don’t confuse “durable” as meaning “cumbersome.” These backdrops are lightweight, easy to use and care for, and resist wrinkles, too. You might have new cameras, lenses, lighting, and other accessories in your kit over the years, but trust me when I say that your Click Props Backdrops will be the stalwart in your studio!

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It’s no wonder the Click Props Backdrops boasts such a huge following and has won so many awards over the years. The combination of quality, selection, and customer service simply cannot be beaten.

If you’re at Imaging USA this year, do yourself a favor and drop by Booth 1924 to see these amazing backdrops for yourself! 

Learn more about Click Props Backdrops


Panasonic has been on the forefront of innovation in electronics for decades.

That goes for everything from TVs to cameras...

One of their newest offerings, the Lumix DC-GX9, is a compact camera in a rangefinder-style body that packs a punch with an array of features that are typically found in much more pricey cameras.

The GX9 sports a 20.3-megapixel micro four-thirds sensor that produces beautifully resolute images. Sharpness is also improved due to a lack of a low-pass filter.

The camera offers a native ISO range of 200-25,600, 4K UHD video capture at 30p, 6fps burst shooting with continuous autofocus, and in in-body image stabilization system.

Furthermore, the GX9 uses Panasonic's new Venus Engine Image processor, which helps the camera achieve lightning-fast speed.

It's also a highly connected camera with WiFi and Bluetooth to make transferring images and controlling the camera remotely an easier task.

The GX9 makes use of a 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen display that can angle up and down to make high-angle or low-angle shots easier. 

It's also equipped with an electronic viewfinder with 2.76-million dots.

Of course, this is just one in a long line of cameras that Panasonic currently offers.

To see their latest products, drop by Booth 705 at Imaging USA 2019!

Learn more about Panasonic

Intuition Backgrounds

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The claim to fame for Intuition Backgrounds is their extensive line of photography backdrops.

In fact, Intuition has over 700 different backgrounds to choose from, so no matter what your aesthetic, you can find the perfect background for your photos.

Among their collection of backgrounds are floral, gender friendly, and solid colors. Intuition Backgrounds even has a line of hand-painted backdrops as well as a breathtaking collection of fine art backdrops in a variety of colors and designs. 

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But don’t think that Intuition Backgrounds is a one-trick pony…

In addition to their massive collection of backgrounds, they also have a wide variety of floors and props, including stuffers, bowls, chairs, wraps, flokati rugs, and posing fabrics. 

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But I haven’t included Intuition Backgrounds on this list simply because of their fantastic product line… 

Instead, I have a ton of respect for the company as a game-changer in our industry.

In just 11 years, this family-owned business has earned acclaim for the quality of their products and the quality of their customer service as well.

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Don’t take my word for it, though.

If you’ll be in attendance at Imaging USA 2019, stop by and see Intuition Backgrounds at Booths 1840 & 1747 to check out their products and see live demonstrations of lighting techniques and participate in a Q&A with photographer Caralee Case. 

On top of that, they’ll have many backdrops 50% off regular prices, and they’ll be selling products you can take home right from the show. 

In other words, if you’ve been itching to improve your portrait photography gear, put Intuition Backgrounds on your list of must-see vendors at Imaging USA!

Learn more about Intuition Backgrounds


sigma 35mm

In recent years, Sigma has been responsible for some of the best lenses on the market.

Their Art line of lenses are particularly sought-after because of their impeccable build-quality, superb sharpness, and ease of use.

Sigma's Art lenses run the gamut from primes like the 35mm f/1.4 Art DG HSM (shown above) to the 135mm f/1.8 Art DG USM.

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There's also a couple of zooms in the Art line, including the 14-24mm f/2.8 Art DG HSM and the 24-70mm f/2.8 Art OS HSM.

Sigma's 70mm f/2.8 Art DG Macro lens is a high-quality lens as well, and shouldn't be overlooked as an option not just for macro work, but for portraiture as well.

Really, no matter which option you pick in Sigma's Art line of lenses, you can't go wrong.

The Art line is known for fast apertures, ultra-quiet autofocus operation, and materials like brass lens mounts that make these lenses durable for the long-term.

Better still, Sigma makes these lenses for a wide range of cameras, so whether you're a Nikon shooter, a Canon shooter, or something in between, the chances are good that you can get your hands on a top-notch lens from Sigma.

Be sure to check out Booth 1613 to see what goodies Sigma has on display!

Learn more about Sigma


What I appreciate about SIRUI is that they listen to photographers and put out gear that has the features and the versatility we want. 

This is evident in all of the products they produce, but particularly with their tripods.

I’ve been rocking a SIRUI W-2204 waterproof carbon fiber tripod for years now, and it is hands-down the best tripod I’ve ever owned.

In fact, I love this tripod so much that I honestly didn’t think that SIRUI could ever really top it. I was wrong.

Last year, SIRUI unveiled a brand-new line of professional tripods that take the meaning of “great tripod” to another level entirely.

Dubbed the “SR Series,” these tripods have some impressive statistics: they can hold up to 55 pounds of gear, reach a height of 80-inches with the optional two-stage center column, and have rock-solid twist-lock leg mechanisms that make for quick and easy setup.


Speaking of easy setup, the SR Series tripods have three-position leg angles that further allow you to position the tripod just right to get the shots you want. 

Add in an integrated bubble level to keep your horizons straight, a removable flat top plate for converting from photography to videography, and an integrated ¼-inch socket on the spider for attaching accessories, and you have the makings of a tripod that can handle anything you throw at it.

And on top of all that, the SR Series is just one of many tripod families by SIRUI. They have dozens of other tripods that are packed with features for photographers of all skill levels. 

SIRUI will be manning Booth 1605 at Imaging USA 2019. Stop by and see the impeccable quality of their SR Series tripods and other products for yourself! 

Learn more about SIRUI

Package Choice Insurance by Hill & Usher

PackageChoice offers comprehensive coverage for photographers that combines a number of essential coverages into a single program. 

That includes Errors & Omissions Insurance, which is designed to protect you should you be sued as a result of allegations of negligence or wrongdoing on your part or the part of one of your employees. This program not only covers your legal fees but also pays for damages to the plaintiff if they are awarded a monetary sum.

PackageChoice also offers Camera Insurance that extends from gear that’s in your possession to gear that’s in transit or on location. What’s more, this coverage protects you whenever and wherever your gear might be damaged, lost, or stolen within the U.S. and Canada. International coverage can be added as well.

What’s nice about PackageChoice is that their camera coverage is paid at replacement cost - damaged or stolen equipment is replaced at the current cost, not what you originally paid for it. Generally a modest limit of rented equipment insurance is automatically included in the policy so that you won’t pay the rental house premiums when renting gear. When you require that Certificate of Insurance for your camera rental house (or venue) rest assured it will be taken care of expeditiously - PackageChoice issues thousands of them every year.

If you suffer that unfortunate claim that lands your camera or lens at the repair shop for five weeks, in many cases PackageChoice will reimburse you for the cost of renting a temporary substitute. Often its included automatically but be sure to discuss this important option with a PackageChoice insurance expert at 866-977-4725.

Of course, getting photography insurance isn’t just about the types of coverage available, but it’s also about the price. 

PackageChoice offers affordable policies with multiple payment plans available, that way you can tailor your payments to your cash flow. Whatever your needs, PackageChoice can help you customize your coverage so you have maximum protection.

With underwriting from many different large insurance companies including The Hartford, CNA, and Travelers Insurance, you have a wealth of size, experience, stability and knowledge to rely on. Combined with the ease with which you can get coverage - just fill out a quick online application and a free, no-obligation quote will arrive soon - you have the makings of a top photography insurance company!

Be sure to stop by Booth 1417 at Imaging USA to see what Package Choice can do for you!

Learn more about Package Choice Photography Insurance


One of the newest Fuji cameras on the market is their impeccable GFX 50R, which was released at the end of 2018.

This rangefinder-style mirrorless camera has a rock-solid 51.4-megapixel CMOS sensor with an X-Processor Pro image processing engine.

That's paired with a native ISO range of 100-12,800, which can be extended to 50-102,400.

This camera is loaded for bear with other features as well.

That includes a TTL contrast autofocus system with 425 points, a 3.69-million dot OLED EVF, and a 3.2-inch tilting touchscreen with 2,360k dots of resolution.

This Fuji camera also has Bluetooth, WiFi, two SD Card slots, in-camera RAW development, and 1080/30p video capture.

Add to that a 400-shot battery life, excellent ergonomics, and Fuji's excellent reputation, and you have the makings of a top-notch camera.

For more details about this and other Fuji products, visit Booth 929.

Learn more about Fujifilm


drobo 5n

Drobo has made a name for itself as one of the top suppliers of high-performance file storage, and that's certainly the case with their 5N network-based device with 64 terabytes of potential storage.

Drobo has ensured that you can easily expand this rig to meet your growing needs over the years. That means that you can insert a new disk drive into the 5N when the time comes for more storage.

Best of all, you can do so without needing any tools at all.


The 5N is quiet, too, with a small variable-speed cooling fan that keeps the unit cool without overwhelming you with loud fan noises.

Even better, this unit has an array of LED lights on the front that tell you when you're running out of storage space. It'll even let you know when there's a problem with one of its drives so you can take action sooner rather than later.

Of course, this little gem is just one in a long line of Drobo products.

If you need an upgrade to your image file storage system, head over to Booth 1006 to see what Drobo has to offer.

Learn more about Drobo


Like Drobo, LaCie has built a solid reputation as the go-to storage solution for photographers.

I'm particularly fond of their rugged series of portable hard drives.

These things are incredibly durable and have USB-C connectivity so you can connect just about anything to it.

It's bus powered, too, so it's completely mobile!

This thing is built like a tank as well, so you don't have to worry about it getting damaged on your travels.

In fact, it's shock, dust, and water resistant, so no matter the shooting conditions, it'll be ready to rock.

It helps that LaCie makes these things bright orange, so it's not like you can lose it!

See what LaCie has on display at Imaging USA by visiting Booth 921.

Learn more about LaCie


When it comes to the best tripods on the market, it's tough to argue against ProMediaGear.

These professional-grade tripods are built with versatility and durability in mind.

I own their TR424L model, and I can tell you without a doubt that no other tripod is going to match the quality of this thing.

It can hold up to 125 pounds of gear, thanks in part to its thick carbon fiber legs. That's a ton of gear!

The legs also have an independent spread and three-position angle locks, that way you can adjust the tripod to be level no matter the terrain.

The quarter-turn twist locks are a favorite feature of mine because they allow you to set up the tripod in short order, that way you don't miss must-have shots.

I photograph a lot of landscapes, so I appreciate the fact that this tripod has big rubber feet to give it more stability, even on soft soil. There's even metal spikes stored inside the bottoms of each leg for added grip when need be!

When folded, the TR424L is just 26.3-inches tall. It's not exactly lightweight, but at least it's small enough to fit into your camera bag.

This rig also offers tons of versatility in terms of height.

From a low of just 6.7-inches to a high of 77-inches, you can frame up just about any shot imaginable with this tripod.

If you have a need for a new, rugged, do-it-all tripod, do yourself a favor and swing by Booth 1819 scope out this bad boy and other excellent products from ProMediaGear.

Learn more about ProMediaGear

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Photography Insurance Buying Guide: What you Need to Know

photography insurance buying guide

As much as we'd all like to think that we won't ever be in an accident, have our gear stolen, or experience a fire or flood in our office, these things - and many other kinds of calamities - occur all the time.

That means that if you want to approach building your photography business in a way that is sound and protects your investment, you need to take time to investigate what kinds of photography insurance is available and what you need to protect yourself and your business.

Insurance can be a tricky game for the layperson, though...

That's why I've put together this quick photography insurance buying guide.

Why You Need Insurance

photography insurance

Some photographers mistakenly believe that they only need insurance to cover their gear should something be damaged, lost, or stolen.

But that simply isn't the case.

Yes, you need coverage for your cameras, lenses, and other gear, but since you provide a service to your customers, you also need liability insurance, should something go awry during a photo shoot.

Think about it - the last thing you want is for a client to be injured after tripping over a cable that you neglected to tape down to the floor.

Actually, the last thing you want is for a client to be injured and not have liability insurance to cover any claims against you!

insurance policy on a desk picture id841218106

I'll get into the different types of photography insurance a little later, but for now, another extremely important reason you need photography insurance is that you often have to prove that you're insured to get gigs.

Rolling the dice and hoping that something bad doesn't happen might be how some photographers run their business, but other businesses - like the venue for a wedding you're supposed to shoot - might not allow you to step foot onto the premises to work without having proof of insurance.

In fact, many venues require Proof of Insurance that shows in excess of $1 million of liability coverage, that way they'll be protected if any sort of unexpected mishap occurs. Imagine the tripod that trips grandma or the hoisted wedding dress that set off the fire sprinklers throughout the whole venue happened (and insurance covered the damage caused to the dress and the hotel venue by fire sprinklers), or the pet photographer who just so happened to be there during a dog bite.

You see, photographers don’t often damage things or hurt people. After all, it’s just a camera and you. That’s why it's reasonably priced in a quality photographer policy as part of your overall insurance protection plan.

When you do need that last minute Certificate of Insurance, an agency specializing in coverage for you like PackageChoice will have a back office ready to go.

But it's not always that simple, either...

Stepping foot in a National Park for a shoot can involve a complicated series of permits and paperwork, while your General Liability policy not only must be proven, it MUST also take on some risk of the NPS through your policy and an Additional Insured Endorsement.

At times, you need Primary Non-contributory language, a waiver of subrogation or per project aggregate limits of liability.

You will want both expertise available through a knowledgeable insurance provider and a policy with built-in features for dressed up Certificates of Insurance, or you could face unexpected charges for insurance you do not understand or figure was already there.

Editor's Tip: Not sure what coverage you need for your photography business? Explore answers to common photography insurance questions.

Types of Photography Insurance Coverage

photography business tips

As noted earlier, there are many different kinds of coverage that you should consider having as a photographer. These include:

  • General Liability insurance - Liability insurance is designed to protect you from lawsuits and other similar claims. For $100-$250 per year, you can get $2 million of coverage per occurrence and $4 million aggregate, depending on what insurance provider you use.
  • Errors & Omissions policy (a form of Professional Liability) - In a society in which filing lawsuits is so common, it's a must-have for photographers to have an errors and omissions policy. These policies can protect you from issues that arise from trademark or copyright infringement, false advertising, invasion of privacy, and idea misappropriation. Not only does this kind of policy cover your legal defense, but it also covers damages. Additionally, this kind of coverage protects you from oversights like double booking a shoot and failing to appear at one of them. It's quite common for equipment mishaps or stolen equipment that leads to loss of your recently captured images; an errors & omissions policy could do wonders for you in such a situation. Some insurance companies don't even necessarily require you to be sued for the policy to respond and address the error!
  • Auto related coverages - It's true. That trip to the bank by your part-time employee, in which your employee is involved in an at-fault accident could be on your shoulders and  your risk. Non-owned Auto Liability is designed to pick up the tab here. Renting a vehicle while attending a convention? That’s Hired auto liability and widely available. In talking with our risk experts at PackageChoice and Hill & Usher, they explain how frequently uninformed, cost-squeezing or nonchalant insurance agents don’t bother offering it or including it. Worse yet, some online insurance companies don’t even bother offering it, thinking the risk is too great for them to assume.
  • Professional camera equipment policy - If photography is your business and source of income, having a professional camera equipment policy is a no-brainer so that you're protected against loss, damage, or theft. Policies can vary widely in terms of valuation. Many inexpensive policies value your gear with age factored in so you receive Actual Cash Value, not cost of new replacement. Some policies are broad enough to cover you worldwide and some will insure you when gear is stolen from an unlocked motor vehicle. Rented or borrowed equipment can be insured on a blanket basis, generally in reasonable $5,000 or $10,000 increments. Beware though, few policies extend coverage to you when rent your gear to others or part with it through some deceitful act as these types of claims are nearly universal coverage exclusions.
  • Scheduled Personal property policy - Many photographers work out of their homes, and mistakenly believe that if something were to happen to their photography gear that it would be fully covered under their homeowner's policy. Though this is true to an extent, many homeowner's policies have low limits for camera coverage (i.e., $2,500 or less), which could leave you high and dry if you have a stockpile of expensive professional photography gear. And many photographers have sample portfolios, props, wardrobes or business furnishings that require coverage beyond a camera equipment policy.

Photography Insurance Features You Need to Have

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Not all insurance providers offer the same specific policies, let alone the same premiums, deductibles, endorsements, and so forth.

When looking for professional photography insurance, there are several features of which you should be aware.

First, make sure that your professional camera equipment policy offers replacement cost for your gear.

Replacement cost means that age is not a factor when your insurer determines the amount they'll pay at the time of loss. This is a much more desirable feature than Actual Cash Value, which some insurers use.

Actual cash value takes depreciation into account, so that $2,000 camera body that you bought five years ago might only garner a $1,200 payment at the time of claim.

Editor's Tip: Ensure that your insurance provider covers your specific type of photography. See the different businesses that can be covered.

professional photography insurance

You also want to be sure that your camera coverage can be extended to include areas outside of your home area.

For instance, if you're traveling abroad, you want an equipment policy that covers you worldwide. What's more, you want to be protected in the event of natural disasters like floods or earthquakes.

This kind of coverage is typically available for an additional charge of around 5-10 percent of the total annual policy premium.

One of the sneakier restrictions we have seen removes coverage for a pretty common situation. Your four-hour shoot is over and you are starving so you park in the local café, leaving your gear in the vehicle while you grab a quick bite.

Meanwhile, eyes are on you and your gear. After your meal, you return to find the camera bag is missing from your vehicle. Depending on the policy, you may be out of luck as some companies refuse to pay thefts from vehicles unless strict guidelines are met. The industry refers to any restriction as a Locked Car Warranty. Some are easier on your than others.

The worst of them requires that your equipment is “safely secured in a locked vehicle compartment” and “there are visible signs of forced entry to the vehicle” or the claim is refused. In this case, there better be scratches or broken glass. That crafty criminal with a slim jim just ran away with your uninsured gear.

The key here is disclosure in the insurance company’s proposal. If critical aspects of equipment coverage aren’t addressed clearly, you won’t know how coverage applies until you read the policy or file the claim. One rule of thumb – that rock bottom insurance premium probably comes with restrictions. How else would it be so low cost? Thefts are the big source of claims for photographers, and they are random, occurring in rural areas or metro areas, so there are fairly typical rates for complete coverage. Abnormally low rates? Something may have to give…

Likewise, you want a policy that includes rental reimbursement, that way if your camera is in for repair related to a covered incident, you can rent the gear you need while your gear is getting fixed.

photographer retouching photos on his computer work in progress after picture id918322800

Look for a policy that covers your computer hardware as well.

Each year, photographers across the globe suffer the unfortunate mishap of a computer hard drive getting damaged or otherwise failing.

By having computer hardware coverage, you're protected in case you lose data, images, or both.

Another feature to look for with photography insurance is to see if they cover different types of photography pursuits.

That is, you want to work with a company that offers policies for the specific type of photography you undertake, be that commercial photography, wedding photography, sports photography, photo booths, underwater photography, wedding and portrait photography, or something in between.

Furthermore, with drone photography becoming more and more popular, working with an insurance company that has policies specifically for UAV and drone coverage is a must.

Some companies, like Package Choice from Hill & Usher, offer up to $10 million in coverage to photographers and videographers for drone use. Package Choice can insure you with or without a section 107; but obtaining it will result in more choices and likely a better policy. Look in to your Section 107 drone pilot certification here.

The issue with drones is that no carriers include coverage automatically today. If you fly a drone at a wedding without coverage, your General Liability carrier will not cover injury or damage without either a dedicated drone policy or an amendment to your business policy. What’s worse is that if you sign a contract with a venue, while having your insurance company send a General Liability certificate, you could be misleading the venue and be in for a big problem all the way around if your drone drops a battery on a guest (that actually happened and it was a $35,000 bodily injury claim).

why you need insurance

Lastly, you should look for professional photography insurance provider that adheres to the choice model.

That is, some companies have in-house private label programs with top carriers. Yet, most photography insurance “programs” out there line up with a single insurance company restricting choice.

The association programs are well-intentioned but if the one policy offered doesn’t work – or perhaps it’s just not available to you because of claims history, your location or what you do, you could be left on your own. The single carrier approach also has the disadvantage of leverage. With all policies with one carrier, the agent managing the program could arguably have a conflict of interest. Just saying.

That means that you have choices when it comes to the coverage you get, and the competition that's created between insurance companies means lower prices for you as well.

In the end, insurance is an absolute necessity, and though it can be confusing to understand if you aren't in the insurance industry, if you make the right choice when it comes to your insurance provider, you'll find that the process is one that's much smoother and with better coverage for your unique situation.

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