Started Aug 8, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Phileas Fogg
Phileas Fogg Senior Member • Posts: 2,535

Just a moment and to pick up on from the $300,000 lawsuit thread. Some advice to those who shoot for money (aka, as a pro be you skilled or not).

Newbies and in modern times MWAC's and similar shutter button pushers (esp. those of you who have discovered the "P" mode). Got that shiny new DSLR and a lens or two. You think "Hey I can be a pro now, maybe, yeah a 'rock star' photographer." " I got a good camera and my friends say they like my pictures I put up on facebook etc."

Ok, now you snatch a job or even a few, you get in likely as a low priced shooter. Yeah, easy money eh? As far as you figure (BTW, NOT FAR ENOUGH FIGURING BY MOST OF YOU!) you have minimal overhead so yeah the $500 Shoot and Burn for a friend, coworker, other acquaintance is gonna get you some cool spending money. Yep, it will but it may also lead you to a caveat.

You see, even if you are just doing it for some spending money and as such by agreeing for this exchange you do assume liability. If for some reason the paying party feels disgruntled or that you did not deliver what you said you can do or sold them, they can SUE YOU!.

You are all thinking, "Yeah, yeah, so what?" "We know that." "It won't happen to me."(BTW FAMOUS LAST WORDS!) But folks you probably do not know this. First legalities may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but in general and in most western type world locales it's more similar than not. That lawsuit will be against you and not just your virtual front of a business that you plastered on facebook etc. YOU ARE YOUR BUSINESS! Be you just a low ball schmuck, MWAC or you an established business. The law will see you as a sole proprietor at minimum and if the lawsuit goes against you the damages awarded may not only include you having to pay cash but if you do not have said sums of cash you may find your assets being forced into liquidation, not just your shiny camera and such but the lawsuit could see the winner forcing you to liquidate your personal savings/investments, your property car and or house etc. If you fail they can put liens on this property they may try to enforce garnishment of wages you may earn in your regular day job. THIS CAN HAPPEN TO YOU!!! DON'T YOU EVER THINK IT CAN'T!!!

If you run a legit business as a sole proprietor that is legally registered with the govt. and as such you have liability insurance, that all may protect you from being possibly bankrupted. More so if you are a registered Ltd. company you then have another barrier to protect YOU! Mr. or Mrs. Joe or Jane Schmoe from being bankrupted. But we all know that newbies shooting for beer money and those 'wannabe rock star' MWAC's LIKELY DO NOT HAVE ANY OF THIS PROTECTION! They don't even know to do it.

Next, and surely to follow after a lawsuit you LOCAL TAX MAN may begin to snoop into your affairs, to see if you are declaring your $500 or so shoots as income. They can and will likely make your 'wannabe rock star photographer life' MISERABLE and they to will get their MONEY!

So by all means I fully support the pursuing of professional photography if that is your drive and to start up a business, but learn the rules and guidelines to being legal and properly protected as such. Be legal, be fair, be ethical, make a business plan and learn how to run a business. DO NOT EVER LISTEN TO, READ OR WATCH THE TRIPE POSTED ONLINE BY THOSE WHO SAY GET YOURSELF A DSLR AND START MAKING MONEY! Their lousy advice may find that you may be in for a rough ride one day.

Pros have costs above just snapping a picture. IT'S BUSINESS FOLKS! As soon as that person hands you cash, it's now a business deal, they EXPECT YOU TO DELIVER ALL YOU SAY YOU CAN DO AND SELL THEM! Oh some may just roll their eyes and walk away by learning hard lesson too if you fail but some may take you to court and make your life miserable be they right or wrong! You won't feel at minimum like an up and comer and more so like a 'new social media rock star photographer then folks.'


 Phileas Fogg's gear list:Phileas Fogg's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Olympus OM-D E-M10 II Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS Olympus 14-150 F4-5.6 II Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45-200mm F4-5.6 OIS +3 more
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