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There aren’t many things more stressful for a photographer than shooting a wedding. So many things can go wrong. What if you’re rear-ended on your way to the wedding and you had your camera in the trunk of your car? What if you drop the memory card in a glass of champagne? I can think of a million scary situations that would make us photographers responsible for ruining a perfect day. Here are three things that could go wrong and how to protect yourself:
1. Memory card failure – I don’t pack out an entire wedding on one massive memory card. I have multiple 4gb and 8gb cards and you know these are easy to fill up when shooting a 12 hour long event. So if anything should happen to one, every single image isn’t lost. I keep them in a memory card safe case in my pocket. One side is the filled cards and the other is empty ones. Once, I put the card in my computer and there was nothing on it! You can download software to recover images even if you deleted them!
2. No-show – You could get in an accident, flash flood or catch pneumonia the day before. Many things can cause you to fail to show. My contract states that in an emergency, I will do my best to hire a replacement who is comparable to me in ability. If all else fails, you may have to refund any fees paid to you and this could greatly hurt your reputation.
3. Unforeseen weather – Those of you in the South of England like me will know this one well…the first snow in 20 years happening on a weekend! And of course, there’s always rain. Be prepared with an alternate location if you need to shoot inside instead and bring lighting or whatever you need to make it happen. Having an assistant is always helpful because in a light rain, they can hold an umbrella for you and if you’re prepared with pretty ones for the couple, you could incorporate them into the photos.
Lastly, if you really want to cover yourself, buy wedding liability insurance that will cover the entire cost of re-staging the event should your clients feel that you have destroyed the whole thing. This is unlikely to ever be used, but it makes them feel more comfortable, shows that you’re a serious professional and will free you up to be confident on the day, knowing that you’re covered for every eventuality.
Tell me…what’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you or someone you know shooting a wedding?