Starting a business specializing in portraiture

Started Jan 24, 2014 | Discussions thread
leecamera Senior Member • Posts: 1,111
Re: Starting a business specializing in portraiture

A few thoughts...

Under no circumstances can anyone (including the Police,) take your cards, demand to view your images or demand that you erase the data.  It can be illegal to even request as such and subsequent action could be taken against those who make threats of such.

Yes you can be escorted from private property and it's embarrassing.  You could also end up in trouble if those images were found to be published.

In the UK, the inland revenue considers payment-in-kind to be the same as payment in £££ so you need to be careful when trading images for time.  However, it would be difficult to bring a case against you if you were claiming everyone was creating a "group" project.  People do it all the time. I'll give yo a lift into town and you can pay the parking...  wouldn't make me an unlicenced taxi...!

Running a successful business does not require making a profit in all cases.  There are tax implications to running a business at a loss and it can be a useful diversion of monies set against other incomes.  (Although the tax man tends to be suspicious if it continues for extended periods.)

Early days of running a business can incur more costs than income.  This can be perfectly acceptable if the bank balance can stand it and if the future rewards warrant it.  Shooting a portfolio at a loss or break even may be a useful exercise if it brings work later on.

Whether or not the Inland Revenue regards you as self employed, it's not a bad idea to seek public liability.  Even if you can prove you were shooting "for fun" it can be an expensive business getting to that stage.  It's not expensive and assuming things will grow then it's only a matter of time before it would be essential anyway.

Generally if you are in the public domain, no permissions are required for shooting - as long as you are not causing a disturbance blocking peoples' way.  Tripods are fine under the same rules but the centre Square Mile of London has it's own rules.

The UK police used to flag up anti-terrorist laws to stop crews but they've been instructed not to do that by the Chief of Police unless there is absolute and genuine reason.  It has reduced the problem considerably.  Remember you cannot be instructed to delete images.  Technically you don't have to show them your images, but there's no real harm and if it makes for a friendly chat then that may be preferable to less friendly options - even if they do eventually work out favourably - your choice.

To those that chastise for asking questions rather than Goggling / reading a book / going to college... I'd say that all forms of information are useful and whether this is your 1st point of enquiry or the last, I welcome your questions in a bid to deliver the best you can.

(I had no idea what I was doing 25 years ago when I started in business, and there was no internet.  I had to muddle through and learn from mistakes.  It's easier to get a handle on things nowadays).

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