Top Covid-19 Photography Questions
What do I need to have in my contract?
- Force Majeure
- Covid-19 Protection
- How can I protect myself if a client still wants to photograph? Make sure you have proper liability insurance and use a Covid-Specific Liability Waiver
- Why should my waiver be separate from my contract? It serves a completely different purpose and we want the assumption of risk/liability waiver to be intact should the original contract be invalidated or cancelled.
- I don’t have Force Majuere, am I screwed? Actually no, FM has been only used at very limited times during this Pandemic. Often, standard contract cancellation and reschedule provisions have allowed for protection and customer service.
- What preparation steps should I take if I’m continuing to photograph? Use a liability waiver, abide by all government mandates, adhere to CDC advisements (masks, social distancing, gloves, hand washing, etc.)
- What if my client wants to reschedule even though they can still have their wedding? This is a classic example we are seeing. Clients who simply don’t want to have their wedding due to do COVID-19 existing and/or venues restricting numbers. This relatively should have no bearing on your services and should be able to treat like a normal cancellation.
- Do I have to return the non-refundable retainer? Legally – probably not, assuming you have a solid, lawyer-drafted contract that attributes that retainer to services already rendered (i.e. scheduling, consultation, etc). If you don’t currently have a non-refundable retainer language that connects it to these services, check this out.
- Do I have to photograph if there is no shut down? No. There are different levels of government directives and contract defenses that may help you.
- Do I have a force majeure clause in my contract? I don’t know – do you? Don’t rely on the headings. Be sure to look for language regarding disasters, circumstances outside of your control, Acts of God, etc.
- Does my contract let me cancel/reschedule? It’s going to depend on the language. Properly drafted cancellations and reschedules will allow for these actions during COVID *especially* when force majeure doesn’t apply.
- What if I photograph against government-mandates and/or shut downs? Loss of insurance coverage. Potential fines. Potential revocation of business license.
- When do I use the reschedule addendum?
This is probably going to be the most common and best way to keep client’s on your books. You will use this when clients have demonstrated their desire to reschedule, have officially decided on a new event date with you and the venue, and you are available on those dates.
- What if my client wants to reschedule but doesn’t know the date?
You could execute the reschedule addendum with a date TBD but it’s preferential to define when this date will be and with no guarantee that you, the photographer, may be available.
- When do I use a cancellation contract?
If your current contract provisions require one or you don’t have a cancellation provision in your current agreement.
- When (and how) do I use the liability waiver?
This is an add-on to your existing contract if the event is still to occur. You should use it with every event you’re photographing during covid. This document is your client assuming the risk of photographing during COVID. This should be a separate free-standing document from your contract incase the services contract is cancelled or rendered unenforceable.