Useful Photography Tip #7: Cross Your T’s and Dot Your I’s

Don't wind up behind bars
Don't wind up behind bars

Don't wind up behind bars

In light of the most absurd photography lawsuit I’ve ever heard of, I thought this might be a good time to remind you to make sure you always have your paperwork in order. It won’t protect you in every case, but a signed contract, liability release form, model release forms, copyright licensing terms and whatever else is needed for your specific business model. I say business, but even if you’re shooting for fun or as a favor you should still get your documents signed to be safe.  I recommended 3 books in the Business and Legal section of The Phoblographer’s Library. The free software PhotoByte can help you generate custom forms and many photography stores carry generic ones.

Although forms and signatures will help with these things, none of them replace the benefit of having liability insurance like that offered by Hill & Usher (866-977-4725 x134).

Finally, you should always be smart and work to avoid the problems of liability in the first place. Take a look at The Phoblographer’s Checklist on How to Not Kill Yourself in a Photo Studio if you do studio work, but just like each discipline has its’ own set of legal documents, the same applies for how to be safe in your type of photography.

The resources I have provided in this quick tip should help you figure out the particular risks of your business and hopefully keep you out of court and protected if you do end up there.

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