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1.2 Paperwork

Paperwork is the foundation that the rest of your business is built on. This lesson considers everything that should be in place, from insurance to client contracts.

1.2 Paperwork

Welcome back to tuts+. I'm Marie Gardner with wedding photography for beginners. This lesson is all about paperwork, which can sound really boring, but it is really, really important. This is the foundation that the rest of your business is built on, and you need to make sure that it's rock-solid, not just for you but for your clients. One of the first things to consider when setting up as a photographer of any kind and this is no different is insurance. Now this is broken down into a few factors. Your kit needs to be covered. We've all seen that clip online of that wedding photographer who backs into a fountain, and if you've not, you should look it up it's really funny. It's hilarious also it's a valuable lesson. You just never know what's gonna happen and your kit can be ruined in a blink of an eye. So make sure your kit's insured for accidental damage as well as theft. You also need to consider liability and indemnity. If somebody trips over a tripod and hurts themselves, you're liable and they could sue you so you need to be covered for that. Some venues won't actually let you work on their premises without showing an insurance certificate to prove that you're covered. So always check if that's required beforehand. Indemnity's a weird one but absolutely worth getting. This covers you not only if you happen, to say, lose all of your clients photos, but also, what if they don't like the photos. This is something that a lot of photographers don't consider, but it can happen so it's best to be covered for it. It's also worth having something about this in your contract. A contract is really important to have, so that both you and the client know where you stand and what's expected. If you're not confident in writing something on your own, then an insurance company will often give you a booking form or even check over something that you've written to make sure it's all okay. When you're putting together your contract, you should think about whether you'll take a deposit or a booking fee. Weddings can be booked many months, or even years, in advance, and if your client decides to cancel your service nearer the time, you could have missed out on work for that date and be out of pocket. So think about a reasonable amount, like 20% of the total. Have you considered whether you'll need to pay for licenses for anything? Music's a particularly tricky one, so make sure that you know the laws where you live. Don't be tempted to use popular music just because you bought the CD. This doesn't actually give you the rights to use the music and you could end up being hit with a hefty fine. In the UK, there's something called a Limited Manufacture license, which gives you blanket permission to use any music for DVDs or CDs that are for limited or one-off production. There are also sites where you can pay yearly fee and use as much of the royalty free music as you like so if you're putting together a wedding video or a slideshow to music then this is a good option to consider. Some venues require a license too. This is usually something that churches do in particular, just to raise a little bit of extra money, but make sure with that you make contact and ask first, because you don't want to be hit with a fee on the big day. So hopefully this has given you an idea of what paperwork you should have in place before you start touting for work. Next, we'll look at what to actually offer a client, and how you'll provide that service. Thank you for watching.

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