You're in business

I just read an article about a New Mexico-based photographer who was sued (and lost) for refusing to photograph a same-sex wedding. Something about her “belief system” (not sure how believing comes into taking photos, and not sure how systematic such beliefs are).

I hope it is needless to say that I will be more than happy to shoot anyone’s ceremonies and events, from conservative old-money weddings to leather fetish parties to same-sex ceremonies – hell, if people are having a good time I’d be delighted to photograph it:

But this case does raise an issue: when you go into business as a photographer, do realise that you are in business, and that ordinary business laws apply to you. Copyright, model releases, responsibility for damage, lawsuits such as the one above: all these are worthy of consideration.

So if you wish to do business as a photographer, my advice is to have

  • Good written agreements
  • Stated Dispute resolution policies
  • Model releases
  • Disclaimers
  • Stated policies, and so on.
  • And liability insurance.

Relatively small effort, and you never know when you may need them.

OK, I’ll shoot anything fun: after the break, a few more sample shots of that recent event, but first the legal Disclaimer: if you are likely to be offended by slight lack of clothing, do not proceed past this point.

And since this is a teaching blog: it was so dark there that I was shooting at f/1.4, 1600 ISO, 1/30th second. Yep you read that right, f/1.4 at 1600 ISO at 1/30th second. And I was bouncing my flash off a Honl bounce card.

3 thoughts on “You're in business

  1. Hi Michael! I wonder how dark it really was in there because the pictures came out really nice and sharp!

    “hell, if people are having a good time I’d be delighted to photograph it” : thumbs up for this 🙂

  2. F1.4 @ 1/30 ISO 1600 is DARK… as in I-would’ve-put-away-the-film-camera dark hehe.

    For reference, one could probably get similar background light in a candle-lit restaurant- one of those were the main light are the 1-2 candles in each table hehe.

    The fore is lighted by the flash- and remember that flash as a nice, freezing property- the subject is illuminated for tiny fractions of a second.

  3. Yes, it was very (very!) dark. The biggest problem, in fact, was that I could not see the camera well enough to tell the position of the Flash Compensation button. All night I was struggling to find my buttons. That’s how dark it was.

    And yet, with the right equipment+technique, I was still able to get nice shots.

    And yes, I mean it about being absolutely delighted to photograph anything where people are having a good time, from leather parties to Santa meeting kids.

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