On Wednesday evening a local wedding venue, Clandon Park, was hit by a major fire. It’s a really tragic story, and my heart goes out to everyone who works there, regular visitors to the park, the owners and or course, anyone who has their wedding booked there. I can’t imagine the horror of finding out that this has happened to your dream location, perhaps even there are some bookings there this weekend. You’d probably have to postpone the wedding or find an alternative venue FAST! What a horrendous amount of agonising stress. I haven’t seen any real disasters at a wedding. But I’ve seen some close calls, Wedding flowers being delivered late, jewellery going missing at the last minute and I was once at a wedding that was delayed because a guest got a flat tyre so they waited for them to arrive. I’ve also never seen anything like this… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0DmtmmFEVo
Thankfully, nothing has ever really gone wrong for my business, or at any wedding I’ve attended, YET! But what can you do if this sort of thing happens to you? Where do you start? I don’t begin to have all the answers, but from a photographer’s point of view, here are a few of my fail safes in case disaster strikes.
The Debretts Wedding Guide bought this to my attention initially and I couldn’t believe that I’d never thought of it until we decided to get married. Wedding Insurance cost us below £50 and covered us for over £50’000 (no where near our wedding budget) but it covered cancellation of the wedding and failure of any supplier. It’s always given me peace of mind that if anything was to happen to our venue or if one of our suppliers was unable to deliver, that we had a safety net to cover us.
Also, as a photographer, I have my equipment insured separately so that if anything happens to that I’m covered. I also have public liability and professional indemnity insurance, which I’ve never used, and don’t ever intend to. I work with so many machines (cameras, computers, cars etc…) that something is bound to break at some point or not work properly. Hopefully, it won’t be an issue; I have spare cameras, flashes and lenses so it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. But if anything did ever happen, I know I’m covered.
I don’t think anyone really likes contracts. Maybe lawyers. Or bankers. But I have one for my clients, and I’ve appreciated having them with our caterers, our venue and our photographer amongst others. The agreement helps protect me as a customer and as a business man. It also outlines what would happen if there was a cancellation by either party and what due process would be. It’s not the funnest bit about getting married, but it’s essential to know where you stand in agreements with businesses or friends alike and always better to have things in writing.
Finally, back up your files!
I can’t say this enough! I have about four external hard drives (soon to be upgraded to six) totalling 9TB of storage space – That’s 9’000’000’000’000 bytes of information! And I’m running out of space. But that’s partly because each hard drive is backed up by another. So if one fails, I have a spare and so I know these files are safe. I also use a cloud back up system called BackBlaze, which backs up everything I can’t live without (that includes both professional and personal files). Finally, I also have my website, which stores my most recent work on so if something does go wrong anywhere, I try to have 2 other options where I could retrieve files from. What would happen if my house burnt down? Or my computer was stolen? Some things just can’t be avoided, but putting in preventative measures will hopefully mean that, IF, something were to go wrong, then it’s really not going to be as bad as it COULD have been.