Starting a business specializing in portraiture

Started Jan 24, 2014 | Discussions thread
Joe Pa Senior Member • Posts: 1,839
Re: Let's create a Semi-Pro Forum

spytrek007 wrote:

PenguinPhotoCo wrote:

He said he didn't want to 'make a profit'. He wants to TFP - NOT bringing a DIME in money. So no, he's never gonna pay for gear that way.

Lets clarify a few things.

I am reading a few business books. I have a business plan and I am doing research as I am going along.

Regarding not making a profit, that is not my intention. My intention is to build up my portfolio as well as form a network with relevant people in the industry. This can be with stylists, make up artists and those that provide photo printing service. Take any industry for example, to get known you have to work for nothing and still deliver outstanding work. Take web design for example. This web design market is very saturated and competitive. Now i hear new graduates doing volunteer work or projects for 6 months to a year. So how do you expect a new photographer with no portfolio to start charging from day 1?

Anyway back to photography, this thread has gone off topic. This thread was mainly concerned with insurance and other legal issues not on how business planning or marketing via flyers, leaflets etc. However some posts were quite useful and I have a better understanding of what needs to be done. I am researching by reading various books, one is by some author Lara White. I found her book quite useful but still have specific questions. It is by an American author so will apply to USA law. The book states that you only need insurance if your equipment is more than what you could afford to replace. So this means I would be risking myself in case i damage my camera due to own negligence.

As i have been told on this thread that I need business insurance aka professional indemnity or public indemnity to cover my camera equipment and camera bags which are all worth around £1100. I have invested in a few camera bags, flash guns, filters, memory cards and so on all totalling £1100. This is around £600 on top of the price of the camera and what it came bundled with.

Then i need public liability to protect my business against claims from clients just in case someone decides to play nasty for no reason or the other. With no win no fee lawyers, this is bound to happen. Other professionals too suffer such as teachers, doctors etc.

I'm sorry for my part in taking it off-topic.

Your take on equipment insurance is quite right, if you own a home in the US, home owners covers it, but there's usually a $500 deductible and you have to be sure you have replacement cost insurance and not present value. If you can afford to replace your equipment out of pocket, then no reason to carry it. You have to consider the total value of your equipment against the cost and coverage of premiums and decide if it makes sense for you. Some of us have invested quite a bit so the out of pocket costs are significantly higher than yours at the current time.

As for liability insurance, understand that insurance (at least in the US) doesn't protect you from getting sued, it mitigates your risk if you are sued. You could have insurance coverage of $1 million dollars ($1M) but someone could sue you for $10 million, in which case you're still screwed.

I won't speak for others, but my belief is the insurance industry is a scam / Ponzi scheme. Insurance companies will encourage you to carry maximum amounts of coverage so they can charge you higher premiums. Most businesses carry a liability policy of $250K - $500K when they start out, if $1M umbrella coverage isn't significantly more then you might consider it.

The best insurance is to do your best to avoid situations where you could be liable for someone getting hurt. Don't drive your models, arrange to meet them. Don't leave wires, equipment, ladders in places where the public might trip over them.

I've never been sued, no one I know has ever been sued, but many on here will still make it seem like this is a major threat, reality is it's not likely to happen but you should be prepared in case it does.

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