Reno Photographer | It’s a Legal Matter

Welcome to my feature column! I’m so glad you’re here today to spend some time with your Reno photographer. Come back and visit often as I’ll write about “my story” twice a month for you. Come along and see how it all came together and watch Huong Forrest Photography/Design by Huong LLC unfold before you.

It’s a beautiful day for wedding photography, or maybe it’s newborn photography that pulls at your passion. There’s laughter and love, or cuddles and sleepiness. Your lighting is gorgeous, composition rocks and you nail each shot. You leave the job so excited and just cannot wait to download the images to your computer. Once home, you immediately begin the download/organization of your RAW files, only to discover there’s an error with your card and it will not pull any images from the card. Uh oh. You try data recovery software of every which sort, you frantically take it to a few experts the next morning and you start thinking about your client and their memories. How will you ever tell them? How will they react? What will they say?!

Luckily, with portrait sessions such as newborn photography, baby photography, family photography and even some boudoir and bridal photography, those can be recreated. There will be expenses you, as a professional, will have to incur, but you can reshoot some portrait sessions. A wedding on the other hand, is a bit challenging to reshoot, which is why one should be as prepared as possible ahead of time (second shooter, shoot with two cards simultaneously, etc). In the worst case scenario, are you prepared for a client serving you with papers?

Many think a photography business is as simple as picking up a DSLR and “opening” the doors for business. There is so much more involved though to take care of the legalities with owning and operating a business. Some of the things off the top of my head include the following:

  • Apply for a Federal Tax ID or an EIN
  • Set up as an S-corp, incorporated, or an LLC
  • Obtain city/state business license
  • Obtain business insurance for equipment and general liability
  • Work with a CPA
  • Open separate business checking/savings accounts
  • Decide to accept credit cards or not
  • Obtain proper city/county permits for on-location shoots

And scary to think these are just SOME of the elements to consider when it comes to the business aspect of photography! There’s also contracts, releases, marketing, branding, more accounting than your entry level college accounting course, etc. Oh, but I don’t really need to worry about all these things do I? Well, sure, you may not need to worry about these things until they come to haunt you and close down your doors before they ever truly open. What happens that first time your equipment is damaged, or stolen and you have no back up equipment and no means to replace the equipment? What happens if a client is injured during a shoot, or the shoot venue requires you to carry and show proof of your own liability insurance, or you’re unable to shoot at said venue? If you’re set up and have your bases covered, you don’t have to worry much at all.

I know today’s article was a bit on the serious side, but business is serious and should not be taken too lightly. A professional should be armed and ready to handle any circumstance tossed in their direction. And even though as professional photographers, we try to be as prepared as possible, there are times when it is completely out of our hands. Would your business be ready for a worst-case scenario?

reno photographer on business

Who is Huong Forrest?

Reno Newborn Photographer

Huong Forrest Photography is the passion, vision and dream of one Reno newborn photographer, Huong Forrest. I specialize in newborn photography and have a great passion for capturing Reno's tiniest new residents. I also adore capturing the innocence of babies and children, the love and passion of a newlywed couple and their wedding and I greatly enjoy revealing the beauty, confidence and fierceness of your everyday woman.

I am a proud member of the Professional Photographers of America and The Chamber of Commerce. When I'm not with my clients, you will find me running around with my two adorable sons, helping people improve their health and beauty with It Works! Global, giving back where I can in several photography forums and blogging about business, photography and motherhood.


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Please send me an email at any time or call me at 775.233.8382 if you would like to discuss an upcoming portrait opportunity.

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Tiffany - Serious but necessary stuff! It helps to talk about this stuff so anyone new coming into it knows where to begin – which is, the business side of things.

Patricia Knight - It’s situations just like you described that I am thankful to have Indemnification Trust Coverage through the PPA. I just pray I never have to use it!

melissa - Great Post Its always so important to have such valuable info to remind us just how big of a deal details and doing it the right way are! :0)

Thereasa Gwinn - Thank you for some awesome information!

Natalie - This was an awesome post, they never even tell you that in photography school. I think they should give business courses and child psychology courses (as I reminisce about this morning’s family session with 4 kids under the age of 6 lol) as part of the photo program.

Christine - Absolutely right, there is so much that needs to be taken into consideration. Thank you for sharing and your concise article – always a pleasure to read your posts.

Danielle Dutta - So much goes into running a business. Great post, Huong.

Tonja - You are so right, having a business is a serious affair! Thanks for sharing!!

Dawniele Catellanos - Yes there is quite a bit that goes into running a small fortune 500! :)

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