Professional Photographers Always Use Term & Conditions

When you drop your car in for a service you accept the terms of trade set by the garage. This is because the garage understands the importance of having terms & conditions in place to protect their business.

When you purchase a ticket for a flight you accept the terms of trade set by the airline. This is because the airline understands the importance of having terms & conditions in place to protect their business.

When you book a rental car you accept the terms of trade set by the rental car company. This is because the rental car company understands the importance of having terms & conditions in place to protect their business.

When you hire an architect to design your new home you accept the terms of trade set by the architect. This is because the architect understands the importance of having terms & conditions in place to protect their business.

When you open a phone or internet account you accept the terms of trade set by the telecommunications company. This is because the telecommunications company understands the importance of having terms & conditions in place to protect their business.

When you install a new software application on your computer or smart phone you accept the terms of trade set by the software developer. This is because the software developer understands the importance of having terms & conditions in place to protect their business.

When you hire a studio space for a photo shoot you accept the terms of trade set by the photographic studio. This is because the photographic studio understands the importance of having terms & conditions in place to protect their business.

I could go on, but hopefully you can see the pattern here: Professional service providers always set their terms of trade before they supply their services. This is essential as all business owners need to protect themselves from dishonest clients and unforeseen or uncontrollable circumstances.

So why is it that so many working photographers supply their services without first setting in place their own terms & conditions? Or worse, some photographers actually let their clients (e.g. publishers) determine their terms of trade.

Over the years I've heard a wide variety of excuses from photographers who don't use any terms of trade (many of whom are very talented and intelligent people who should know better), but I have yet to hear a single excuse that's even remotely valid, and none of them are worth repeating here. Because at the end of the day, when the sh#t hits the fan, excuses won't protect your business, your rights, or your reputation.

Bottom line: professional photographers always give every client a copy of their terms and conditions up front, before they shoot a single frame. If you’re not doing this then you’re not a professional.


Aaron K
AIPA Executive Director

This article originally appeared in F11 Magazine.

No comments:

Post a comment