Skip to main content

Legal Issues

Lesson 7 from: Master the Business of Photography

Sal Cincotta

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

7. Legal Issues


Class Trailer

Day 1


Class Introduction


The Agenda


Why You Will Fail


The Changing World We Live In


Biggest Competitors For Weddings and Portraits


Day 2


Defining, Understanding, and Connecting to Your Clients


Day 3


Legal Issues


Day 4


Shoot and Share vs Shoot and Sell


Day 5


Pricing Your Work Part 1


Day 6


Pricing Your Work Part 2


Day 7


The New World of SEO


Day 8


Social Media - Facebook


Day 9


Social Media - Instagram & Pinterest


Day 10


Building a Better Portfolio & Attracting the Right Clients


Day 11


Proactively Developing Vendor Relationships


Day 12


Get More Publicity


Day 13


Booking More Portrait Sessions


Day 14


Booking More Weddings


Day 15


Understanding the Initial Sales Consultation (In-person vs Skype)


Day 16


The Engagement Shoot - Shoot To Make Money.


Day 17


Engagement Pricing and Sales


Day 18


Destination Shoots


Day 19


Working With & Training Second Shooters


Day 20


Growing An Alternate Brand


Day 21


The Wedding Day Timeline


Day 22


Managing The Wedding Day


Day 23


Post Wedding Sales and Pricing


Day 24


Post Production - A Real World Workflow


Day 25


Wedding Albums - Their Importance, New trends & Selling Them


Day 26


Ways Not To Suck At Customer Service


Day 27


Video - The Future of Story Telling for the Photographer


Day 28


Packaging & Final Delivery To Your Clients


Day 29


Lessons Learned - Where I Have Failed Over The Last 8 Years


Day 30


The Journey Of You


The Journey Of You: 30 Day Plan


The Journey Of You: 60 Day Plan


The Journey Of You: 90 Day Plan


Student Examples


Interview with Warren McCormack


Interview with Lenny and Melissa Volturo


General Q&A


Lesson Info

Legal Issues

What I want to do now is I want to start talking about legal issues, legal challenges that we all face, and if you don't think you're going to face legal issues in your business, you are living in fantasy land uh, over and over again. We have seen this happen to photographers there's countless stories about people being sued for using illegal music, people being sued for missing images, people being sued for handing over blurry images to their client, it's, the world we live in. And so as as diligent a responsible business owners, we have to start thinking about how does this affect our business? More importantly, how do we protect our businesses from this? If you're not thinking that way, you're putting your entire business at risk and your business is the least your words, I'd be okay risking my business, you know what? I'm not okay risking my house, my car, my retirement, my four oh one k I don't want to put these things at risk and maybe you're going hey, well, who cares? I don't h...

ave a foreign one case I'll sue me, you can't get blood from a stone, right that's great, you understand that you could be sued for future earnings that's the part you got to get through your head, this is the world we live in and so you've got to start protecting yourself from this, so I want to dig into some of the legal challenges that I think all of us have to face on and just to a certain extent be paranoid, we really have to be paranoid with are busy with our business and everything we're doing so we don't live in a vacuum. The legal issues are absolutely going to impact our business. We have to be aware of the litigious society we live in p I can sue you for anything everyone here I consume you and say, man, you guys ruin my creative lives guys were staring at me. It was really weird, right? I could sue you. I might not win, but I can absolutely soon you for that and the lawsuit just defending it is going to cost you ten to fifteen grand again. It's the world we live in that is reality. I sued a second shooter who worked for me. She was under a non compete, she went off and she's decided she was going to quit. Leave me holding the bag for all these weddings and then open up her own shop even though she's under non compete suitor one but I don't know what I want because it cost me more money to sewer than the money that came in from winning the lawsuit but I had to do it I had to establish that message I'm not gonna let them right do what they're doing and violate that contract. So these are the things we have to think about a cz were growing our business we have to protect our businesses and families you have to protect everything you're working hard for today even if you have a full time job can you imagine if you were working a full time job? Maybe it's a seventy, eighty hundred thousand dollar your job and now you go to a wedding, you lose the memory card, you missed the first case somehow somebody trips over your bag and now you're not getting sued for this part time job that makes you ten thousand dollars a year you're actually getting sued for your earnings from your real job that's madness and that can happen so we've got we've got attack, that stuff we have to think like business people, we have to stop thinking like artists, right? You've got to be business people there's no other answer half to one hundred percent b business people okay? And we have to be paranoid. Be paranoid. I worry about all this stuff don't just go to bed at night, you know ignorance is bliss it's the worst possible thing you can do for your business and it's not hard to protect and so at a basic level write a contract is an agreement between two parties they pay you you agree to do something in return that's it if there's no if there's no give get so to speak right you can't really be under contract with somebody I can only contract with you if you if I'm giving you something in return for something right I can't say okuda group agree to shoot my wedding I agree to do nothing can happen that contract wouldn't hold water and I know I'm oversimplifying it but you have to understand there's two parts of the contract is one part you're you're delivering and another part they're delivering you also can't contract to do anything illegal now don't don't think about illegal being the obvious right now you couldn't contract with the bride to rob a bank okay that wouldn't be a contract jewel thing that could be enforced take it on a much simpler level they can't contract with you too break into park ground after hours and maybe fly a drone okay something like that because right now drones at state parks are illegal to be using so something like that if you didn't get that that wouldn't be a legally binding contract okay so keep that in mind ah breach is what happens when one party doesn't deliver these two concepts become really important because in your contract wedding client family client sr client whatever whatever your contracting for you want to make sure that you're discussing not only what the agreement is clearly you can write an agreement on a napkin we could contract right now on a napkin, and it would be legally binding as long as certain pieces off. What? What contract law requires our stipulated, right? I agree south and connor, to do this, you and return agree to do that sign here dated that could be a legally binding piece of paper on. So we need to understand those two pieces breach is when we violate that contract. And so these become really, really important, because when we breach one of the ramifications, we can't just say, hey, if you don't do this, you're in breach of contract. Great. Who cares now? What? What quarter were what quarter we're going to settle this dispute by contract with wedding up in new york? I don't want to settle that dispute in new york. Now that means every time there's a dispute, I have to actually fly up to new york airfare, hotel, legal fees, legal counsel that starts getting expensive. So I would want my contract when we talk about breach of contract where we're going to settle our differences. Well, that's gonna be in illinois, where my studio is right, so let's dig into this. I think I have a copy of my contract so we're gonna actually dig into my wedding contract line by line so you make sure that this is in your wedding contract next thing is copyright copyright is this like massively confusing thing for almost every artist I run into and I don't know why because it's it's so simple a cz the artist as the creator of content you only that's it it's that simple I mean you can't get any simpler than that we could be talking about music we could be talking about paintings we could be talking about pictures we could be talking about copy copy the word the written word it is copyrighted. Okay, these are your things I don't know why I create so much confusion in the world of photography as to what copyright is and how you convince elated why do other photographers steal other photographers work two rhetorical question of course we get for some reason they can't quite process it's not ok to steal another photographer's image to promote your business it's kind of dumb why would they do that in mostly? Because they don't understand right? I've never seen somebody steal an image and be like, oh yeah, I knew all about copyright but ignorance we can't use ignorance is a defense that's not gonna work, so we have to think about these things uh unless you're being paid a significant amount of money never give away your copyright not to your clients not to anyone you own the copyright so even when I'm using images in a magazine I own the copyright and we're gonna talk about that later I actually did a photo shoot for local st louis wedding magazine I only copyright not her not the magazine I can do whatever I want with those images I choose not to we have an agreement she gives me that cover she says I don't want any of these images out until after that cover goes live legally I could do whatever the hell I want I took those images I'll never shoot the cover again so that would make no sense right but legally it's my image I'm not giving up my copyright I might give a shared copyright I might give a limited use copyright where she can now use this for ninety days right? So let's say you do a shoot for a hotel you're not going to give them here's my image make it the face of your hotel marketing campaign for the next twenty years on and you can pay me one hundred dollars for that image that would never happen in a commercial copyright you're giving limited use you might even say it's not uncommon in a commercial copyright to say okay, you can use this image um print only or print in webb or print web video you would stipulate where this image could be used. You'd also stipulate how long what the duration is for that that image to be used for this is really, really important to understand this is this making sense so again, clients are typically ignorant to what it means. We have to educate them. But a real world scenario we were we were just one of our brides just stole our images last month. So some of you may have seen the kind of aftermath of all that I'm gonna talk about. That situation was really important. What do you do when the bride steals your images? Your client, for that matter, every photographer in years probably face that situation in one form or fashion. Maybe it's a senior, maybe it's a family, a baby klein wedding climbed. This is a wedding client. We walk into the wedding. She bought no pictures from us. All the pictures were printed and up on the wall at the reception, they look like crap. We're gonna talk about that in the second because it's complete violation of copyright and they'll claim ignorance will say they don't know. And so we're going to talk about ways to let them know and get them tuned in, and so this is a copy of our copyright release. Copy it I don't care something we sell on our store copy it do whatever you want to just make sure you got the terminology right on today this goes in every um every box with pictures okay they sign off on it so even if we're delivering digital images even if we're delivering digital images for clients they have to sign off on this okay so don't just give them that thumb drive that cd you go here you go you have to give this and reality is walmart sam's club anyplace they're getting those images printed should be asking for this but guess what I'm not going to rely on some seven dollars an hour employee at the photo lab to be asking for this but we should still deliver it nonetheless it's pretty straight forward right here's the photographer's name telephone email address the above named photographer warrants the legal copyright owner in the work describe below all engagement wedding on brother event photos so we're saying we are the legal owner for this work we have to talk about what works so we're giving them their engagement wedding and other events whatever you want to put in their photographer hereby grants permission too okay that's who they are his herd their photo lab of choice to make reproductions of the work noticed that clause at the very bottom that is the most important part personal use on lee um we're not giving up our copyright we are we're not allowing them to do things that are unauthorised with him so for example it's in our copyright we are not letting them submit it to magazines to style me pretty to any of those blocks anything like that why I want to be in complete control of where my work is showing up this is for them to print a by tens for their friends for their family go forth that's what we're letting you do with it that's my business we'll talk more about digital negatives later but at the end of the day this is the copyright release we're giving them when they have purchased that release you on our wedding contract it states clearly you actually have no rights to these images zero we own all images then after the wedding if their package gets digital images digital negatives they're getting this copyright released that they have to sign on it's put on its put on there with their images is making sense really really important and so we're controlling where these images should be used I do not want half baked images right showing up on the not showing up on you know facebook or things like that that's not what I want happening I want to control my work and where it showing up and even if it shows up on facebook that's not that's not really what I'm concerned about my big concern is magazine so brides love to submit to style me pretty things like that at a bride just recently I forget what wedding blawg she submitted to but she submitted it to a wedding blocking the wedding block said we need your copyright release right before we can use it she sent them this all behind my back I had no idea what was going on she sent them this they said we can't use that your photographer has we have to contact your photographer the wedding bloch contacted us and said we would like to feature your bride on our blogged will you allow us to use the images I said no, what images do you want? We'll make sure we re edit them specifically for your block you have to be a control freak when it comes to that kind of stuff, right? Because come on, man, you think if on a typical wedding are you guys doing full beauty at its on every image you're whitening teeth and you're using the skinny no way man, right? So who knows what images they want versus what I've edited completely edited? So I want to make sure I control because that's free marketing for me if it showing up on that wedding block I wanna make sure I put my best foot forward on do that is this is this making sense um so here's my recent copyright issue I do have pictures. So taylor goes in and shoots a wedding, right? So we're inactive. Studio. We're still photographing weddings. This is man it's it's. Less than a month ago, this happened maybe it's, even two weeks ago. I don't know what time it is. Just disappears at a rapid rate, but about two weeks ago, three weeks ago, taylor's at a wedding and I get start getting these frantic tax from her she's like you're not gonna believe I walked in, she was in all the air engagement pictures are printed and they're all over the place and I'm not connecting dots. I'm like, well, what? So what that's good, isn't it? Right and she's like no, they didn't buy them and I'm like, oh, crap! So I might start taking pictures, send me pictures and so here's what they did so I want to I want to focus first of all, I'm gonna I'm gonna preface this with thes are they're really nice people? Super nice people, they're not bad people, but what they did is illegal. Bottom line. So this picture you're seeing in the middle and back home, you're probably looking at that and you're going on that super pixelated from being zoomed in no that's, the print that's what it looked like that bad they printed this and we're like, cool. This looks great. Let's, show this off in our home let's, show it off in our wedding. I'm sure sal will love the fact that we're showing off his work and be very happy with this shitty image of all pixelated. I mean, you cannot even see skin detail. Okay, this is a horrible representation of my work, but it gets better. Look at the image on the right. It's been skewed to fit a certain size. Do you see how it's squished that's? Not from my camera. That's not from the picture we took of it. That's from them going to a lab, just dropping it in. Probably shutterfly not understanding how to properly resize something. And now that image shows up. Super, super skewed holy cow! This is what we're walking into seed. Then look on the left. It's an eight by ten picture in an eight by twelve free. You can see the picture below that came in the frame. This is insanity. You can still see the barcode. Can you imagine my studio, right? Like I said, these are nice people. I'm not I'm not knocking them at all. They're they're nice people. There's a story behind it and I'm gonna share the reason I share stuff like this and I shared it in our shutter fast group because everybody's gotta learn because everybody's gonna run into something like this at some point in their career. How do you deal with it? That's the only way not to teach is just from real world scenarios and so we walk in and we see all this what would you do would you do when you saw all this? Who here didn't see the post on shutter fast? Anybody any ofyou? Did you all see it? You didn't see any of this. So stand up for me. Tell me what you see this. What would you do? You walk into a wedding. What would you do? I don't know. I mean, I would be shocked for sure. I second shoot wedding. So you want a wedding? How you gonna have your gonna hang yourself? You keep shooting, you stop shooting. What do you do? You call it to your attention? I'd probably I would probably bring it up. Ask her, you know, ok, where'd you get those you know? Or I don't know, I don't know. Probably ranger ascension. Yeah, the reason I'm asking you this and putting on the spies not because there's no right or wrong answer, but because all of us especially me, my blood pressure would go go through the roof the minute I was seeing this and the reason my blood pressure would go through the roof I have no poker face, right? I'm half italian half lebanese, you get me going, I get fired up really, really quick, right? So I'm sure my face would be read on I wouldn't be is common. I don't think most people would become I think you would try and find a way to say something, but it would come across this so passive aggressive right that it would ruin the rest of the day, right? Because I want to be like esso where'd you where'd you get these shitty images picked printed because I know I didn't do that did you do it for free? Because you I stole money from me, right? How do you how do you have that conversation? And so taylor's tellers taxing me like I do? Listen, stay calm, let's do the job we were hired to do let's be professionals, we have all their wedding pictures so it's not like they're going anywhere just do the job we were meant to do she's like I want to say something like don't say work, just chill just do our job take pictures of this, so we have a documented but do the job they hired us to do let's be professionals let's let's give him the benefit of the doubt for right now and deliver on the day and it's interesting because when I posted this to the shutter fast group people people are like whoa what are you gonna do like everybody want to know what we're going to do how we're gonna handle it and so here's what we did we took pictures of everything we documented it as soon as taylor got home the very next morning she drafted up in email to them also let me step back here in this at this point they don't have a copyright released for those images on their engagement shoot they don't get their digital images from their engagement session okay they bought four pictures I took those pictures eight by tens scan them horribly by the way those were not good scans and went and printed them so there's what makes this situation even more interesting in every order that comes out of our studio we insert a p p a copyright explanation if you do not have this, you need to get it now. I mean they're like five dollars five dollars and you get like a book of one hundred of them from the people something like that I'm sure I'm screwing up some numbers but just go to the people a pba dot is a comma or a dot com what a people dot com and look for these copyright sheets there little blue sheets they're about this big they go in every single order explaining copyright this is so important because this takes off the oh we didn't know off the table you can't say you didn't know because that sheet is in every box so if you ordered eight by tens and five by sevens and there's two boxes that go out there's a sheet in every box right there on top it's not even on the bottom it's on top of the prince so when you open up that box that's the first thing you see five dollars for like one hundred by them we've been using them for years and years and years so now back to the situation this is the history of this situation she has uh she has all that data she knows and so now we go in tea to this situation taylor sends out this e mail hey susie you know something that happened on your wedding that I want to bring to your attention was very upsetting to us as you can imagine you are in violation of copyright this is and she put a screenshot of what was in the order right that copyright form she let them know she said you don't have copyright this is actually stealing from our studio she was and unfortunately we are not going to deliver any wedding pictures until this situation has been made right the only way to make it right issued by the digital negatives from your engagement session uh at fourteen, ninety nine, fourteen hundred ninety nine dollars that will make it right and from there will continue to deliver on our contract as stated the next morning morning this is two days after the wedding mom shows up check for fourteen, ninety nine apologize couldn't apologize enough I'm so sorry we did not mean to disrespect your studio wei have nothing but appreciation for what you guys do here she goes we just want to have some extra pictures around because but I totally understand what we did eyes a violation of copyright I shouldn't we should never have done it. We apologize that was it. She paid that fourteen, ninety nine we gave her now her real digital negatives so she didn't have to scan crap and she can actually just go print it. But how many of you would handle that situation that way? Because that worked out well that situation could have blown up on us, right? I mean, she could have she could try to put us on blast right on on wedding side she well, I mean, I would have just presented the information but it would've been a nightmare for me, right? She revolted lee looked stupid for doing something like that but how do you handle stuff like this? You have to have your ducks in a row. These air legal issues do you want to be stolen from? We're running a real business so if you want to be cheap and not by pictures that's on you you came to me you hired me it's okay? If I make money I'm not gonna apologize for making money. We're together on this. What do you do when you have that kind of a scenario? And they did by your digital file is that you know, so they prepaid the fourteen, ninety nine in order to get them and then they take it to wal mart and here are some other quick whatever and still you still look like that or they print the website's file versus real file. Yeah, that's a really good question and a real world scenario. So, uh, the only time the digital files come from us from an engagement session is if they're in our black label engagement. We'll talk more about pricing and packaging, but so they would have to typically spend fifteen hundred two thousand dollars to be at that level. With that goal comes a canvas and acrylic a medal from us, right? So we had a wedding recently, probably a year ago awesome couple they came up with us to new york city, they bought black label everything but at his wedding he wanted to do this thing where when you walk in off the elevator you would just see all their engagement pictures. They wanted to show off their pictures, right? They own their copyright. Guy's an attorney. And so you get off the elevator and it's the two campuses from us that we printed from a professional lab. And then after that there's like, four canvases that I think he got from shutterfly and I get off the elevator with them, we'll get up together and I look and I see my picture, I see my other picture and then I stop and I see this picture that came from, like shutterfly wherever they got it from whose horrible like the canvas was almost see through, um on it the inks were already faded compared side by side, and I just stopped and looked at it and I looked at him and he goes shut up! Not a word, right? He knew it. He knew it was inferior quality, but it wasn't what I was trying to do. He wasn't trying to rip me off. He just wanted to have this kind of thing going on so there's nothing you can do that's really the short, short answer you just have to just have to deal with it on, unfortunately there showing off your work write stuff like this at the event you're screwed a tte that point, so you just got to kind of grin and barrett, but but but but that's, why? I hate shooting burner because then you literally have no control over what's going on so there's very there's, no package, by the way, in my studio that doesn't come with prince. This is why I want to bring print into the equation. I want to deliver something that doesn't look like this because let's take the fact that they were in violation of copy copyright it's like you, said jonathan, they have they have the digital images, they're not in violation of anything, they're perfectly legal because I showed up and for two hundred bucks gave him a cd of images and now they went off. They don't know how to print, they don't know how to edit, they don't know howto understand color, space or any of those things that we do, and then you walk in and you see stuff like this this khun destroy your brand. I would much rather give my client's product and showed me the trusted advisor and show them how to display this stuff. So we're going to see this we're gonna talk about this another segment shooting, burning for shooting, sharing first shooting selling because at the end of the day it's an incomplete service and this is why this is this is what's gonna happen if you're just handing your client over that cd this's going to be the result mohr than not all right so let's talk about the wedding contract high level you don't have to be an attorney but no matter where you are in your career even if you're doing this part time you better have a contract you better protect yourself that again we talked about in the beginning of the segment this is the reality of the world we live in, you have to protect your business and so some things to be concerned with in the contract high level we don't have to get into all this legal jargon breach what is the recourse if they break the deal they don't pay for their wedding um they cancel their wedding, you get sick. What is the recourse we have to outline? What recourse is one of the payment terms? When is the positive? When his final payment to when final payment isn't made, what is your recourse? What you gonna do so before the wedding you're not paid? What are you going to do? We're going to show up and shoot that wedding chasing them down for money you know, the beginning of my career used to do something where we would we would build uh thirty days after the wedding right, so you would pay half before I don't even know what I was thinking, right was probably following another photographer's lead, which is why I said retired for a horrible business people, right? They do these things like a third and a third and a third. Okay, madness. We don't do any of that today. We'll talk about what we do. But first year in my career, I had thirty days after the wedding. So now, thirty days after the wedding, I'm chasing my bride down for money. Yeah, you can imagine how that worked out and so that's not the way we do it today. Uh, who owns copyright that's in the contract? It is clear who owns copyright who is the client? Who is the actual client? Is that your bride? Is that our parents? Isn't an aunt who's paying for the wedding? Who's the client? Who are you holding accountable to when you don't get paid? This has to be in the contract. Deposits are deposit's refundable are non refundable. How long do they have to get their money back? And so let's, take a look at my contract. So I'm gonna walk you through each one of these again if this is something you want, contracts are available on her site, they're put together by an actual attorney. S o these are legally binding contracts and I'll tell you where in here it might be different state by state but ninety percent of this contract ninety five percent of this contract legally binding wherever you are is my point first definition of clients the person whose signature appearing this wedding contract shall be the client have the person who is don't have mom sign it that means you're accountable the mom I don't want mom telling me where to go and what to do unless she's paying for the wedding but do you understand what starts happening there every once in a while I have a mom whose daughter is out of town coming back to st louis for a wedding the mom will book me is that my client is not my client to nightmare every time it happens it's a freaking nightmare and it happens at least two, three times a year where my bride is coming back from out of town she's from st louis she's coming home to get married right even if it happens once a year it's a nightmare because there's a massive disconnect between what mom wants and what the kids want we just did a wedding about a month month and a half ago where I could not get the bride on the phone at all before her wedding I had no idea what kind of pictures she wanted from her day and then we would reach out to the mom. I would say mom, hey, we're trying to reach out to your daughter. She is what she said to me she goes, I know siao shee was a just don't care about pictures. I'm like not my client, but mom is a fanatic. Mom loves my work I mean mom's looking at my work and she's like I love your leading lines what right? What? Mom talks that way like, but she's having this conversation I'm like you are my client, right? You need to get married again. Divorce your husband let's do it. And so but it happens. So we need to understand who our client is. This next clause is super important. Exclusive photographer how many of you have showed up to a wedding and seeing another photographer there? I've had it happened way too many times. Uncle bob is there taking pictures with his film camera. So we did a wedding once, literally every place I posted up her uncle was right over my shoulder, literally over my shoulder. Like one time I stepped back into him on purpose. But I made sure he felt the pain when I step back because what the hell are you doing but it got so normally I don't care if people are behind me and they're just like taking pictures and I don't care man do it your your shot's not going to look anywhere near like mine does don't even worry about what camera they have it doesn't matter just do your job. This guy was literally in my space, man he was on my shoulder for everything and I'm thinking to myself what is going on here? And so I had to go to my groom you go hey, dude, listen, this is starting to become problematic like I'm not going to get the shots you want of your wedding day because your uncle he's like I told him not to bring his damn camera, I go ok, then do me a favor go talk to your uncle and let him know he needs to stay out of the way and he did, but having that klaus helps you, we did an indian wedding um two years ago we didn't indian wedding I show up indian weddings if you've never done any wedding it's a multi day event, okay, I'm there the first night I'm taking pictures and this girl just keeps jumping in front of me literally everything I was doing, she was just jumped right in front of me, so I'm shooting with a sixteen thirty five just why they're all dancing boom she jumps right in front of me so I grabbed her okay you gotta you gotta stop doing that you're getting in all their pictures the father of the groom comes over right? Because in the indian weddings the mom is used amount of the bride is the one doing a lot of the planning the father of the groom comes over and he grabs me and he goes she's my photographer like what he's like yeah, she works for me so don't tell her what to do so now I go to the mom I go we got a problem you're paying me a lot of money to be here this is an event that was twenty thousand plus dollars from them I said you're paying me a lot of money to be here this person is literally in every picture in our contract I am the exclusive photographer I could walk out of here right now and she's like I'll take care of it and so she went over there but now what I've walked out probably not, but I have to have this clause man it's so important that you're laying the law down that you are in charge of the day it's not making sense so when the deejay pulls out his camera put that away when the video guys start thinking they're photographers put it away okay it's here to protect you more than anything else copyright reproduction this is pretty clear I don't want to go through line by line but it's saying clearly in this contract I own copyright prices this is also really important how long your price is good for forever if you don't have how long your prices are good for you, we're going to get yourself in a jackpot really, really quickly here and so for us prices are good in effect for thirty days after the day of the event think about it. A typical wedding is booking six months a year year and a half out I don't want to be held handcuffed on my pricing for year and a half you see what I'm saying and so or for or indefinitely prices have to be able to be raised new products come up campus companies raise their prices, mental companies raise their prices. Why do I have to absorb that two years later? I don't want to, so this is only good thirty days after the event, the ala carte pricing is only good thirty days after the event, we'll talk more about pricing personnel. This is hugely important if it's not in your contract, you are setting yourself up for a breach lawsuit if anything were to ever happen okay studio mason may be pregnant, maybe you're not a guy who's pregnant girls pregnant right would be really weird maybe your female you're pregnant. What do you do if that if that weddings around the time that you're gonna give birth, what if you go into labor early? What if you go into labor a month early? Thes air things you have to be concerned about? This is in the contract. What if you just get into a car accident on the way to the wedding? I mean, anything can happen. Okay? Uh, personnel, the studio may substitute photographers in the event of illness or capacity. That's all you gotta have in there. And so we had this. I was I was meeting with a bride, her dad's an attorney and he's sitting there going through line by line, making red mark circling things initialing here he gets to that cause and he's like, oh, no, absolutely not crosses it out because you're gonna have to initial is so what's the problem because you will be there because you're not gonna swap out some other photographer because I know all about what you guys do. I'm like, okay, that's totally cool. All initially, I'm just curious. If I get into a car accident as I'm signing on the way to your daughter's wedding, you just don't want a photographer there at all he's like, well, let me read that four oh, no, no. Okay, yeah, you know? And he put it back in, right? Because you have to have the ability to stick coverage here. Now, this isn't some loophole for you to be like you know what? I'm feeling tired today. I don't feel like I don't feel like shooting a wedding, right? It's there to protect you, that's the point of having this contract I don't want to lose my livelihood because, god forbid something goes wrong. We have to protect ourselves. That's the point of the contract retainer and payment this wow! Learn from my mistakes that's all I can tell you a retainer and payments once the studio reserves you're dating time, it ceases attempting to sell its services for the date meaning once ibook that wedding on april fifth. I'm not selling any other weddings on april fifth. I don't run twenty photographers through through my studio. It's me so once I lock up that date, I start turning away weddings. Right? Fair enough. The client agrees that if they cancel or postpone the event sixty days or more before the event, there'll be some liquidated damages. But all monies paid to the studio. I will not be returned, meaning you don't get your deposit back that's reasonable. If you're canceling if I can resell your date I will give you your money back as long as I can resell your day if I can't resell your date I'm not giving you your money back that's not about to me is not reasonable here's where you need to learn from me right into the bottom that paragraph you see whats his client initials learn from my mistakes we usedto have just hit the very bottom of the contract place for the signature okay one day bride books me puts her deposit down I actually turned away another wedding it was one of those days where was like six seven eight ride or seven, eight, nine whatever whatever those wedding day's work so I was getting a ton of requests for that wedding day I turned down other weddings took no meetings for her a week later the father calls me goes we don't we don't want to work with you like I never even met the father. I'm like what's the problem because I don't have to tell you like what were under contract so if you want me to let you out of contract you got to give me at least a reasonable answer did I miss something that something go wrong he's like I'm not answering he goes, we're not working with you he goes on, I want my money back I said, well, that's fine right now we're gonna play hardball. I'm like you're not getting your money back so it's clearly in the contract, you're not you don't get a refund for money to pay, so he went to his credit card company and challenged it. And one you got a thousand dollars refunded all they took it out of my account, and the reason they got a refund it after I talked to the credit card company is because if they don't initial right by where it says to make the that they agree to that term ninety nine point nine percent of the time, the credit card company will err on the side of the credit card holder ninety nine point nine percent of the time. So if this is not in your contract right now, you are flying rogue man put it in your contract, it's that simple and so once we put this in now, we're good to go, so they can't say all we didn't agree to that term because they had to initial right under it. And so, ever since that point in time, we made that change makes sense studio, liability and performance also important, okay, what this is basically saying it in a nutshell, is that we do not guarantee any single shot I can't guarantee that I'm gonna get the first case I don't want to miss the first kiss but should I be sued because I missed the first kiss? How many weddings I don't know about you guys but I've been in tons of weddings where the bride groom don't kiss the priest forgets to tell him to kiss and then they start walking down the aisle well the minute they start coming down the aisle we get out of the way right so they can come down and then they remember they didn't kiss and then they kiss well guess what I didn't get I didn't get that picture and so if I have a bride come back to me and go well you didn't you didn't get our first kiss you ruined our whole wedding by the way this can happen this has happened photographer actually been sued for missing a shot who won or lost doesn't matter because the photographer ultimately loses you have to pay to defend the lawsuits and so now he gets sued for that okay and he's got to pay five thousand dollars because he missed one shot ten thousand dollars because he missed a shot. What about losing a memory card if there's no one ever lost the memory card if you haven't consider yourself lucky one day way have process now that would never allow for this to happen but I was shooting and when I would swap memory cards in the middle of a shoot I'd put it in my in my pocket ok brilliant, I know and so I would put it in my pocket while I lay in the street a lot when I'm shooting so in my pocket I'm doing my thing I lay down I'm taking my shots I get home that night and I'm like I'm missing a member I mean immediately clicks that I had it in my pocket it's not there it's gone I might go through the bag everything's out of the bag were shining flashlights in the bag can't find this card and then it collects was laying in the middle of the street it's forty five minutes away I have to drive forty five minutes I mean, I'm hauling asked to get there sure enough right in the middle of st is sitting my memory card. Yeah, he's right e I would never tell my brother about that. Another cool thing I did once early in my career has nothing to do with contract is I was taking a ring shot, right? We all take a ring shots at a wedding and you got this hunk of jewelry right sometimes tens of thousands of dollars her ring was like, I mean had to be like a three carat ring and I hung it on this you know, like tree branches for decor they had out of center piece, so I was I hung it on the tree to core I was taking pictures of it doing my thing, and then I got distracted and they left it hanging on the tree to court on dso, so I'll never forget that your heart comes into your throat. I get distracted because they wanted to do a sparkler exit, right? So I was in the middle of doing this, and then all of a sudden the planner grabs me and she's like they're doing the exit there, doing the exit so let's go, we grab our stuff and we'll leave that there, so now we're outside, we do the sparkler exit and then the bride comes up to me and she's like, do you have my ring? And I'm like, who I had no poker face at the time and because I was like, uh, I think he has it on di realised it was still inside, we go running back inside to get in ahead of her it's gone from the branch and so one of the groomsmen had sought there and handed it to her took, grabbed it and went back around and handed it shows I came back up to her, I saw her putting it back on, I was like holy cow uh, like we would have just worked this wedding for free because ah, three carat diamond ring that was not cheap. So anyway, not that that's in my contract, right? If I lose your wedding ring, you cannot sue me, but those kind of things that happen in the real world jump to the next one governing law governing laws studio our client agrees that the state of illinois shot governed the validity construction performance of this agreement blah, blah, blah in a nutshell, we're determining that if anything were to go wrong, she would assume me I would sue her right. That would be the worst possible thing that could happen but has to happen in the state of illinois. This is really, really important because that's going to impact the cost of defending ah lawsuit I don't want to be sued in new york. I don't want to be sued in missouri. I don't want to be sued some other part of the world our country has to happen in my home state, so this needs to be in your contract as well. Um some other things you know, just client responsibilities. This one was added later on this is also important client responsibilities. Client agrees to cooperate and scheduling and time management to allow the photographer to perform the taking of the pictures onto this contract hey man if you're not going to give me the time to do my job you can't come back to me after the wedding and complain I didn't get the pictures that you wanted right this is really important so this is a contract that has evolved that is a living document over the years like I said learn from my mistakes and if you're just starting out and you don't have stuff like this in your contract this's gonna be problematic for you it only takes once jonathan that has happened the challenge I have is how do you we have everything organized and planned and scheduled and then all of a sudden you find out the bride's an hour late you know and and and yeah so how do you deal with it because you're losing all your shooting time that's right I will talk about something serious happening once oh yeah so what's what was giving a scenario real quick um bride was bright was toxic right? It was a bride from hell and she argued with the limousine for about an hour because of his price okay and so therefore it because his prices they showed up with the wrong color limousine so this whole time of being able to retire free she actually held up the wedding half an hour so let me tell you I'll tell you my story and how how I dealt with it okay because this happened to me we had a bride she had a planner she had everything way had a bride that was on hour and a half late she was late to the actual wedding okay, so I have no pictures of her and her bridesmaids we're literally sitting in a room watching her get our hair and makeup done for way too long so normally I'm with the bride about an hour in that room and when I arrived she's supposed to be ready or ninety percent ready of her makeup so I shoot her details, get her in the dress and then go do some shots with her on her bridesmaids there's not a single shot of her and her bridesmaids because she was an hour and a half late that cut into our creative time not only did he cut into a creative time it wasn't about this uh being late to anything the sun was gone so it's now being hour and half late I mean that's not fifteen minutes you don't recover from that time and so we get to after her wedding she was really upset when she saw her pictures and I had I just I didn't highlight this clause right are merely highlighted her timeline I said you were an hour half late and the whole time by the way I told her that's probably the difference so if a bride is running late on their wedding day don't just accept what's happening around you right control your own destiny so in a situation like that when she was running about ten minutes later I walked in to the make up artist cause she wasn't even in the makeup chair yet the makeup artist still working on it uh the other bridesmaids I said to make a bar cycle when is she getting in the chair making bars like I like to do my bride's last this way there make up his super fresh I said we're leaving in about thirty minutes and I still don't have her in her dress like I need her to get okay she'll be next that next never happened and so now what? I kept doing it I went up to my bride I said hey just f y I if you're not in that chair in the next ten minutes I'm going to be leaving and heading to the church I don't I don't know what to do you're not gonna have any any pictures here no sense of urgency she just kept going about her business but I control my own destiny by letting her know so after the wedding she can't say to me well you didn't tell me that I did tell you I told you what the ramifications would be so that's what you I don't know if you did it but that's what I would recommend doing does that make sense and that's what I'd recommend for everybody everybody out there is you got to control your own destiny with stuff like this remember this clause is not for you to go in the contract that's not what I'm looking for you to do what I'm looking to do is protect you his business owners and this is the kind of stuff you've got to invest in and so like I said, this is something we sell on our website it's like a hundred bucks or you can pay an attorney a thousand dollars I don't care what you do get your contract in order this is something you absolutely have tohave there's no logical reason to expose your business look if you get sued minimum it's five grand to defend it minimum so you're telling me you don't want to spend one hundred dollars to defend against five doesn't make any sense like just start thinking logically about things um model releases very very important toe work with model releases and so a model release you must have your rights to use the images just because you took an image doesn't mean you can do whatever you want with it this is really important so if you're photographing a high school senior you can't just go and be like hey, I'm gonna splash you all over the place they better sign a model release giving you the right to do it now on the wedding side that's in my contract that's built in but on a high school senior a fashion shoot ah family shoot that's not built in so you need to have this together everyone should be signing him you can't there has to be some level of compensation what do you agreeing to do? There has to be that give get okay are you gonna get a free print? Are they willing to release it and say yes? You can use this for promotional purposes on your website but if you're going to get compensated on an image you have to there has to be some give get between you and that client you can't make ten thousand dollars on that image okay and think you're just gonna have them sign something to be free there has to be some maybe it's a free print maybe it's one hundred dollars but the model releases that covers things for advertising purposes not necessarily just posting on facebook, right? Not because I think that a lot of people I've talked to get that kind of confused they think they have to have that moderately signed to post even just supposed to face but no that's not true where this model release comes into play for me is so that I'm using it in promotional pieces so let's say from a high school senior perspective if I'm going to mail that that kid's face out to a thousand homes I better have that model release handy I tend to use it also so that I can just put it on my website for promotional purposes because that's where it starts getting a little tricky they're going to go okay, well you're using my image to make money if you're putting it on your website you're using my image to make money for direct mail and things like that that's where you want to kind of bring this in if you're posting it to facebook for them no, you're typically gonna be safe safe there but what I do is as a rule, I just have everybody sign this that's just to protect again to protect ourselves and we make it super easy I'm gonna show you a nap we used to have this stuff sign there's absolutely no reason all of you aren't doing it super super easy we use an app called what is it echo sign so we use an app called eco sign I'm gonna show you some screen shots for it every shoot we're on now this is what we use so we're not running around with paper and penn and then we lose it and then we have no record of it echo sign is a really cool at my adobe seniors, families, babies, weddings I want to use this stuff on my block social media what if people choose not to sign that's within their right to say, I'm not going to sign this that's fine, depending on the shoot, you've got some decisions to make, so if I'm doing ah model session and they choose not to sign it, well, then they're not getting paid right? Or I'm not even taking their picture. This model release has to be signed before they ever step in front of my camera because I don't have to chase people now after the fact that's insanity, right? So if you use doing ambassadors for high school seniors, this should be signed before they ever get in front of the camera has to if you're doing any kind of promotional shoot for a hotel for a catering hall or anything like that, this has to be signed before you ever take a picture or else you're gonna be chasing them down, and then they're gonna blackmail you. Weddings can choose not to sign it's in my original contract, but real world in a wedding is they could ask you not to use the image that absolutely has happened to us in the past. I had I had a couple who the guy had a stalker and he's like it's really bad we've had to have, ah, restraining order against her because we want nothing up with us. And he's like I see you on the copywriters like I'm okay if you want a copyrighted just I just don't want anything up on facebook or upon your block I said deal that's fine right? What about peripheral people at a wedding and a reception you maybe taking a photo of the bride and groom which have peripheral people in the background if you're going to use that so here's the deal there's I'm not a lawyer right? I just pretend to be one there's there's fair use because they're in a public place but typically what's going to get you in trouble is if you're trying to use that image for promotional purposes not pushing it on your block me personally let's say I got this amazing picture ofthe bride groom dancing and the band is behind them I would never use that image for promotional purposes just because of the gray area in all that right unless I could go to the bin and say hey, can you guys sign a copyright release because our model release because I want to use this image for promotion now if I'm the band what would I say what's in it for me now I gotta given compensation so just starts getting into this muddy dairy you can blur blur them out things like that but then that probably compromises your image a cz well so is that making sense but just taking a random you know reception image no you do not need you do not need a release for that you said your model releases in with your wedding contract is it separate for your families and seniors and if it is why yeah, because my model in minds together because I don't have a contract with my family's so there's no contract right on a wedding there actually contracting me to be there on june fifth there's a whole bunch of terms and conditions that we just went through that makes sense from a wedding contract but from a family shoot it wouldn't make any sense if I would just be like okay, we haven't even taken a single picture you have to sign all these contracts herbal things like your deposits not refundable you start making it difficult for them even book you the only reason I would want that model really signed it so that after that shoot I can now use those images in being on creative life I can use those images in a book I can use those images on my block that's why I would have that model release is that making sense I just do a very simple contract from my seniors and families because that on two ways and write in my contract I just have the water I can use the images for promotion on my perfect don't you right now I just don't have from a senior's families be anything other than a wedding there's no initial contract it just it starts becoming too complicated and unmanageable to a certain extent and so I just don't do it I stay away from that it's on ly after the fact if I want to use those images I have them sign a model release and we ask him to sign if they don't have to sign it is promotional ought to be just a large catchall phrase I mean does it also includes magazines you know it's you know you're allowed to just be very broad with usage on promotion I wouldn't use the word you're right I wouldn't use the word just promotional I would I would use it in a way earlier on in the release to define what promotional means you know to include but not limited to web facebook social you know, direct mail things like that so where you get that out of the way up in the beginning of that that contract you know including but not limited to because what happens like in two years when they come out with like, you know, wristwatch advertising then then somebody going to come back to go back well you didn't get it cleared for that platform right? So included but not limited to eyes usually that phrase that's goingto support you there is that making sense and so here's our model release for valuable consideration received I grant to salvador cincotti tire if you notice that for valuable consideration received that's the thing what's the consideration we're giving them that's legal term for payment. What am I giving them? Free pictures? Free digital image free eleven by sixteen print could be whatever you want to do. Make sure there's something you're giving them in return for them, giving you the permission to use that for marketing and advertising. That's the key there has to be a give get we can't have a one sided contract. It will never be enforceable with me, uh, and their lease salvador sink on photography and representatives unrestricted right to use and published photographs of me or in which I may be included. Editorial, trade, advertising in any manner and medium. Okay, so we're trying to, you know, you just got to find a general level of catchall again, this was put together by an attorney. I feel confident in us using this. So this is where you guys should be looking to grow and add to your business, you've got to protect yourself. I'm going to jump ahead. I want to show you e co sign. So adobe. I'm sorry. Co sign echo sign, adobe echo sign this is an iphone app, okay, I want to say the subscription, something like one hundred dollars a year something like that might not even be that expensive I might be exaggerating the number but basically it's a nap okay, so the first thing you're seeing on the left hand side that's when you log into the app you can now do both sending it out for signature the email or have them sign right in person very, very powerful it'll show you what's been sent out that's pending I'll show you what's been completed but what's being completed is really important because now where's that contract again where's that agreement again I don't have to go searching for file cabinets it's all they're archived that second screen is really, really cool because you can now create a library of contracts model releases copyright releases ah host of other contracts that you just pull up as templates so you can tie to your dropbox so ours is connected to our drop box so all our contracts, whatever we need to be signed blank templates are just putting a dropbox folder this app now connects to it so whether it's elissa doing it taylor doing it me doing it I opened up that app boom I'm connected to those those contracts that's screen on the right that's the actual model release so now they can go to the drop box open up that model release right on the phone it's going to say, passed the device to the signer and then you're seeing that middle screen just signing with their hand right there boom! All stored clean, concise this is this is the future like make it easy for yourself to get contracts on. We do the same thing at bridal shows your bridal shows boom! This is what we got going on it's just super super easy put it on an ipad so it's a little bit bigger so if they got to type some things into the contract, they can do that or it could be sent to them an email. So on the right hand side there you're seeing the actual email that would come in with that pdf attached to it to sign and for your records a cz well, so super super slick system. Anybody using this here? No, that super slick, but I want to do is jump into some other legal issues that will be covering here same sex weddings. What ah hot topic that is um, so we did shutter network, we did an episode on same sex weddings and I got hate mail from all sorts of people all over the country was super super interesting to see how people reacted to it look, at the end of the day, I could care less what you're what you're religious or political point of view is do whatever you want to do your business owners the reason I'm talking about it is because we're having a conversation about legal issues hears reality. There was a couple in new mexico. This is what kind of spawned the conversation for me to have there's a couple in new mexico that rejected a same sex wedding. They said no it's against our religious beliefs were not going to photograph your wedding. They were sued, they lost that's it that's it in a nutshell so you can do whatever you want to do with your business. Just have enough common sense not to tell somebody I'm not going to photograph your wedding because you're black. I'm not going to photograph your wedding because you're two females. I don't believe in that. I'm not gonna photograph your wedding because you're short, I'm not gonna photograph your wedding because you're in a wheelchair. We gotta stop stupid, right? And so at the end of the day is business owners. We need to understand that this is the reality we live in. Laws are being passed in every single state. It is only a matter of time before this becomes ah protected class. So to speak this so you have to think to yourself how are you going to deal with this challenge in your business if you're dumb and you just say no I don't believe in it I'm not gonna I'm not gonna photograph your wedding you could make the argument that you're you're taking a stand for what you believe in god bless there's nothing wrong with that I'm all about being passionate and what we believe in but you have to understand when you do that when you take that stance you're going to get sued and you are going to lose ninety nine point nine percent of the time which is interesting to me because as photographers we managed to lose business for all sorts of reasons right because we can't get out of her own way so you're telling me if there's a couple that walks in you can't find a more politically correct way to not photograph that wedding you know what I mean I could use some common sense prevail you don't have to say anything you don't have to you have to say hey, I'm not going to photograph your wedding because you're a same sex couple and I don't believe in that but you do have to be aware that you also can't just uh you have to choose your head right on some of this is anybody photograph to same sex wedding here what you thought I'm actually the first I don't engage the section session now with a fallen body next to, and I've also just did a same sex wedding about a month ago, and I'm in north carolina. They were from virginia and contacted me across state lines and said, frankly, we've contacted four, five other photographers who said no, and before we go any further, we just want to see, you know, if you had an issue with it, my response wasn't you know, I said, unless, as a group, you guys collectively decided we're now paying with seashells, I figure everyone has an equal right to be miserable, like any other group, so I didn't have a problem with it, but, you know, I was surprised of how much rejection they got. I said, you know, I'm really started here that I go in last time I checked, you're not really a lot t make that decision for that, but, you know, I don't have an issue with it all, they're a great couple, you know, I really don't see what the issue is. Yeah, and I could have that thanks for sharing that, and I can have that conversation with you, you know, ten people. And I get ten polarizing answers right and there's no wrong answer no t a t end of the day I'm the last person tell anybody what to believe what to do, what to feel that's not that's actually not the point of bringing this up although I'd love to see the what happens in the chat rooms when this when this topic comes up uh but I'm sure creative life gonna be like, damn it but today it's it's a real situation right? And so what I'm doing my the spirit of this conversation and bringing it up is a spirit of understanding of legal ramifications it will have on you and your business that's the part that's undeniable and so you've got to really ask yourself as a business owner how doe I mitigate that risk right? How do I do that? How do I have that conversation? Do I just not return the phone call? Uh do I but I know what you don't do you don't tell somebody for that reason that you're not, you know it's the same reason I couldn't I couldn't not hire an employee because they were gay I could not do that I could not hire someone because they were in a wheelchair I could not do that either right? So we've just got to use common sense his business people illegal music this is awesome this is a hot topic recently big, big names in the wedding video industry right for whatever it's worth are being hit with lawsuits right now like legit one hundred fifty thousand dollars lawsuits on it's really interesting to see how the video community is kind of having this conversation about this illegal music it's really, really interesting it's as if they just don't care they really don't care they sent many of them don't actually see something wrong with it, which is ironic because if somebody ah band stole one of my pictures and used it for the next cover of their album or their magazine spread, I would sue them I would win because I'm the copyright holder and his artists right? It's it's it's really contradictory that we would be okay stealing other artists work? And so this is also something we have to be aware of and there's look there sites out there song freedom, music, bed, triple scoop I mean there's tons of sites out there that offer legal music just take him up on that legal music paid the fifty bucks paid the hundred bucks be legal. I can't even imagine what it must feel like right now for those people getting those letters in the mail for one hundred fifty thousand dollar lawsuits and they're going to lose that's the part that I think none of them realize at this point is that this is a really law firm a real legal issue for them and it's documented violation and so there's precedents here too I forget a couple of the guys names but they were sued for three hundred thousand dollars and lost you're not gonna win the record label you is you're not gonna win against the record label their pockets are way, way too deep now you might be asking yourself why in the world are they picking on mom and pop shops? Why would they do that on so it's not about picking on mom and pop shots right here is the mind set you're using their music to promote your business and make money right? So how could I if I'm charging five thousand dollars for a wedding? Ten thousand dollars for a wedding and doing video or slide shows, right and a motorcycle or even music on my website? If I'm doing that using illegal music to create memories to create a feel for my clients I'm making money well there going, hey, we want our share of that money and they're gonna win they're going to get that on dso those kind of things we have to start concerning ourselves with and mind you it's not just if you're doing video like I said it's slide shows uh, music on your website did you know that in your studio you can't play the radio yeah, you can't play the radio it's actually legal offer you to do that because you're you're in a business establishment, you're playing the radio and you're using that music to create an environment in your studio too make money therefore there's a different license for that now the licence for that don't quote me on this is, I think about two hundred fifty dollars, in your studio so that you can play license music channels or whatever the case may be bright same thing with direct tv, by the way, I couldn't have direct tv on in my studio playing nfl sunday ticket, right? I want to have the game on in a bar, something like that those bars that have the football game on if they're legal, which most of them are because the operators have to go in there and install direct tv tohave that up there paying licensing fees that are thousands of dollars more, then we pay to have direct tv in our home or cable in her home, right? So it's there it's all around us, we just have to be diligent about it, you know, his business or accidents he's our legal issues, what do you do if somebody trips over your bag? Do you have insurance we're going to do if you knock down a cake, which I already almost did so we're at we're at a wedding and eliza, I think you were with me on that wedding. Is that? Is that right? Where almost took out the cake so we walk into this room and we have ten minutes left. It is at the four seasons in st louis, probably easily one hundred thousand dollar wedding cake is this five six tier cake, probably three, four thousand dollar cake. I get into the room, I'm shooting all the tender pieces. I only got, like, ten minutes ago. And if you are ever with me on a shoot, you'll notice I'm all over the place, man. I mean, I'm just moving never stand behind you're gonna get taken out guaranteed so I'm here on I'm getting this shot of the head table I'm backing up I'm gonna wire backing up and going, why don't back it up is the cake back up? I just nudged I'm going full speed back elissa comes up from behind me and just smacks me in the back to stop me from going into the cake. She's, like the tank hits me, but I still hit this and it's on wheels and the cake to start sliding across the dance floor, right? And we go in, we grab it, I mean it's like a bad movie. We go in, we grab it I'm just my heart's in my mouth because the bride literally came in the room five minutes later and I cannot imagine the nightmare that would have ensued if she walked into the cake sitting on the middle of the dance for upside down and so what do you do when that stuff's happened happens you have to have insurance and so we have a liability I don't know if I would have covered the cake that's for sure uh but we have liability insurance so we have like a one million three million dollar policy very, very inexpensive for you probably like in that three hundred or four hundred dollars a year range you can probably added to your homeowner's insurance but again in the spirit of legal conversation as a business owner thes air the things you have to have in order to get your business going and protect yourselves protect your family right rob you got it you got a child now you got you gotta uh you know, protect that protect that investment, their future, their college right all these things you've got to start thinking about that when you're just you know, weekend warrior, maybe you're not thinking about too much, but it can happen gear loss anybody ever had gear stolen or lost? If you haven't again consider yourself lucky I've had gear stolen what do you do when it's stolen you know, if it's just one lens the deductibles probably not that big a deal pay the deductible on get your get your gear but what do you do if you have you do if you have your bag stolen, right, something like that like these are things that can happen, you will go out of business. Can you imagine if your bag of twenty thousand dollars worth of lenses or ten thousand dollars worth of lenses just got stolen? That's my biggest fear that's the thing that keeps me up at night is what if I'm on a location shoot in my bag, get stolen? What do I do? I don't have to have a way to get that replaced, so look to add something to your homeowner's policy on then pba has, uh, thing you can't get anybody on the p p a point. How much is it a year? I think it's monthly like twenty seven bucks a month for twenty seven bucks a month called three hundred dollars a year and your gear is insured well, well worth that investment. I have a homeowner's policy that I added for all my equipment and my computers and things like that the reason I didn't like the people a is the people he's very restrictive in its program, meaning everytime I add a new lens I have to resubmit serial numbers on get that gear insured. Well, I know about you guys, but I'm adding new gear way too often on so let's. Add a new lens, my people. A program would go up, the price would go up right? Because I have a new lens in there or I'd have to take something out. What I did was I worked with my local state farm agent when they were the only company I could find that would do this. And so check into this. I bought a seventy five thousand are blanket policy so I could have two hundred thousand dollars worth of gear. Only seventy five thousand of it is covered in any given moment in time. Does that make sense? So I pay one, feet a year. I think it's somewhere in the neighborhood, like six or seven hundred dollars a year for that seventy five thousand dollars blanket, I can lose my computer, my studio lights a bag of glass. And so the reason I think we estimated that all gear lighting, everything I have computers is in one hundred fifty thousand dollar range, right of stuff. And what I was hedging my bet on, I could have insured it all when I was hedging. My bet on is that I would never lose everything at the same time. Right. So at any given moment time, I felt like my exposure was roughly seventy five thousand dollars that's. Why we came up with with that number. And so now I pay that flat fee and as I add new equipment, new lenses, uh, new lights, it all falls under that umbrella. So you may want you may want to look into that. And then, of course, legal entities. Okay? And then we'll wrap up within the legal side of things. But you want to talk? You need to be please tell me everybody. Here's an llc. S corp anybody not. We're not going to show you, auntie on crave live right now. They're not content right now. Okay, here's, the problem for you if you are not, uh, llc or escort. First of all, it's, about a thousand dollars that's. All it is okay, it's going to protect yourself. So right now, if somebody trips on a bag just by accident, even a high school senior they consider you for future earnings off your personal income. If god forbid something like that would happen to me, they cannot. They cannot reach in and pierce the corporate veil. They call it they cannot reach through and sue me for my personal learning. It's not that I want to be sued not that I want something bad to go wrong but that's again the whole point of the segment is out of protect ourselves when things like this do happen and so s corporate llc the question always comes up which one should I do? Every state is different and so we are an escort because in the state of illinois the terms are a little more favorable the cost of administration or a little more favorable now then the r for an llc however right on the other side of the river in missouri and out being llc is more favorable okay, so just check in your local areas there is no right or wrong answer here the only wrong answer is not being set up is one or the other you are setting yourself up for failure so I don't want to get too much into that I've talked about that previously on the pros and cons of each but again legally you're exposing yourself to a personal loss and that is never never good all right? So this is our breaking point next we're going to talk about the art of selling and so there is definitely on art to it it's a constant debate do we shoot it burn? Do I hand over that cd shooting share whatever you want to call it or do I actually build a sales process easier is shooting and and sharing and handing over that cd there's, no doubt about it much easier. But I hope by the end of this segment, I've convinced you that there's an alternative. And you're leaving a lot of money on the table. And we all want that money as business owners. So that'll be the next segment.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Master the Business of Photography - Workbook
Master the Business of Photography Slides
5 Tips to Finding and Booking Your Client

Ratings and Reviews

Brandon D

Sal isn't disgruntled and angry like someone below said, and he doesn't have time for people constantly whining about why their business isn't going good. He's from Brooklyn, so he can come across as harsh at first, but after watching several of his classes and even getting to meet him in person and talk a bit I can tell you he is a really nice guy who truly does want you to succeed. He was very encouraging to me after I thanked him for helping me and my business get to where it is now. Growing up, I can remember photographers grabbing us and posing how they wished. They are often in a hurry to get things right, such as at a wedding, so I am not sure why one reviewer stated he would dismiss them. Sounds like he is just looking for a reason to feel powerful. Anyway, this is a great class to get you on track with your business. Yes, its a bit wedding heavy, but the concepts are the same no matter what. Just apply them to your niche and you are good to go.


Amazing course. Sal is such a great photography educator. Terrific course. I'm not usually big on watching business courses, but this course as taught by Sal was terrific. Down to earth, entertaining, packed with real life experiences do's, don'ts and lessons learned. This courses business A to Z and Sal is very entertaining to watch/listen to. Thanks CreativeLive for getting Sal.

fbuser 0af5cf47

I have been a long time fan of Creative Live and have sat on the fence with all of Sal's classes because I already attend Shutterfest every year and get loaded with valuable information there, so it was hard to pull the trigger on a $300 course that was filmed 5 years ago. Also, in my earlier days of hearing about Sal, I'd heard a lot of negative opinions about how he comes across. Still, I'd heard he's a marketing guru, and my background is in marketing as well, so I really wanted to see what this class was all about. Now that I've finally gotten it, I'm completely blown away. There is just SO MUCH MATERIAL in this class that its actually difficult trying to decide what to implement first! It is good stuff too. It is all about marketing, sales, and workflow. If you're looking for a class teaching you how to take better photos, this one is not it. This is the class that teaches you how to get your work where everyone is seeing it and convincing people to book you and tell their friends about you! Now as far as others have already said... this class is definitely geared toward wedding photographers. Yes there are bits of information that work for other types of photography, but it is so heavily wedding oriented that there might be a better fit out there for another type of photographer. If you do weddings though, this is an amazing class! As far as Sal's personality goes.... he's a New Yorker transplanted to St. Louis. So expect that NYC no BS type of attitude. Susan Stripling is another one of my favorites and she is similar in attitude (and also extremely talented), so if you like her, you should like this. If you have a hard time with her, you might have a hard time with this. Regardless, its stuff y'all need to hear and implement to be successful. Obviously because the class is a bit older, you may have to make small tweaks to a few things (even though he says don't jack with the recipe), but the marketing principles are solid and timeless. Shoot this course is worth it for the SEO advice alone. Just buy it already!

Student Work