If you have a passion for capturing life’s precious moments, then photography will be a fulfilling career. Many photographers choose to start their own business, photographing a variety of subjects, special occasions, or people of certain age groups, like babies. Whether you are a family portrait photographer, wedding photographer, or baby photographer, you have risks to be aware of as you start your business. Risks include those related to starting a business in general, as well as photography-specific risks like theft of your expensive camera equipment. Even with these risks, you can protect your business from them and continue with your rewarding career.
One of the common business risks for a photography business is in relation to finding clients and having fluctuating income. Just out of the gate, you may not have a lot of clients knocking on your door, and you may suffer financially, albeit temporary. The inconsistent income can be hard for businesses just starting out. Seasonal fluctuating income disorder may also be something you need to contend with. For example, your photography business may soar during the holidays or graduation time, but other times during the year you may experience a lull in the need for your services. It will take some extra planning and budgeting to deal with this.
Another thing to be aware of as a photographer are copyright laws and whether or not you should sign over rights to your clients. If you choose to sign them over, you risk losing income because your clients can use those images to make copies instead of ordering prints from you. Or, if you don’t sign over rights and someone uses your photographs by copying them, you may choose to undergo an expensive legal process for those unauthorized use of your photographs.
Legal and Liability Issues
Your photography business may also be subjected to legal disputes from your clients and the services you provide. You need to be aware of possible liability claims held against you if the client isn’t happy with your photographs. This is especially risky when photographing events like weddings or other special occasions. Your pictures may be the only ones taken so if they don’t like the quality or your equipment malfunctions, they don’t have the memories they’re looking for. Additionally, injuries could occur on your business premises which you will also be responsible for. While you can be held accountable for these types of risks, you can also protect your company from these liability disputes with business insurance.
Taking Time Off
As a small business owner, your successful business depends on you keeping your clients happy. It can make taking time off close to impossible. Even if you do find an employee who is well qualified to take over administrative duties, hiring another photographer can be risky on its own.
Lastly, you have equipment risks such as your lighting equipment breaking down just before a photo shoot or an expensive camera being stolen. These risks pose a significant loss in business income until the repairs have been completed or you have replaced the stolen items.
You may have not fully realized these risks, but with the right protection you’ll still be able to have a successful photography business and enjoy your work. Do this by getting business insurance, such as general liability insurance, crime insurance, property insurance and others, that will cover the risks of operating a photography business.