Photography Business Risks

Photography is well known to be a lucrative business venture for those who pursue it at the top level. However, it is not without its own risks just like every other human endeavor. So what are the photography business risks associated with photography business?

This article will point out some. If you are very passionate about capturing life’s precious moments, surely, photography will offer you a fulfilling career. Most photographers prefer to set up their own business. They photograph a variety of subjects. Also they cover special occasions, or people of certain age groups, like babies. Hence, whatever field of photography you find yourself in,  there are photography business risks you have to be aware of as you start your business.

See also: Achieving Success in Photography Business and Career

The risks you will face include those related to all new business startups in general, as well as some that are associated with photography alone such as camera theft. You should however not be discouraged by these risks, many have faced them and sailed through, you can still succeed in yourphotography business even with these risks.

Fluctuating Income

This is not peculiar to photography business alone. It is well known that business startups will go through periods of swings in revenue although, it is a particular challenge for photographers. For those into event photography, they will most likely witness a rise in revenue during the summer when graduations and weddings are more frequent.

Those into artistic photography will earn more income based on the schedule of art galleries and showings. This inconsistent flow in revenue can be hard for a startup photography business to contend with so you must learn how to use your income from one job to subsidize for your living as well as cover your business expenditures till you land the next one.


Doing this may be extremely difficult but it is one of the risks you have to face as a starter in the photography business. It will take a lot for you to survive this phase but if you manage to stay afloat, things will eventually even out as your business grows.

Finding Clients

This is like an extension of the above point but it is important to talk about it separately. Some small businesses can rely on a significant portion of their income from repeat customers, while some types of photography jobs provide services for only one client one time. An example is event photography. A couple that hires a wedding photographer most likely won’t need the services of the photographer again.

Photographers who specialize in areas such as editorial, magazine or stock photography typically have more repeat customers, although even those types of clients sometimes cut back on photography budgets, especially during tough economic times.

See also: 15 Photography Business Ideas

Another huge setback for small photography businesses is technology. Digital cameras, as well as other photography equipment, are readily available and affordable today. Hence, many would-be clients would rather prefer to take their pictures themselves rather than hire professional photographers. Some who even hire photographers would only hire photographers who take pictures as a hobby so they can get cheaper deals.

Legal Liability

This is a risk associated with every business.  As a photography business owner, you are not exempt from legal liability. Clients may subject your business to legal dispute. Hence you should be aware of the possible liability claims held against you if your client is not happy with your photographs. The risk is much higher when you photograph events such as weddings or other special occasions.

You may be the only professional photographer hired, so if they don’t like the quality of your photos or your equipment malfunctions, then they do not have the memories they are looking for. Such clients may choose to approach the courts.


Also, injuries may occur within your business premises which you would be held responsible for. You may be held responsible for these types of risks. However, the easy way out of such is to have insurance cover. That way, you get to transfer the risk to an insurance company. You protect your business from these liability disputes with business insurance.

Copyright Issues

Copyright laws are another thing you should be aware of as a professional photographer. You should know whether or not you should sign over rights to your clients. Signing off your rights as a photographer leaves you at risk of losing significant income.

This is because clients can choose to use those images to make copies. This is instead of ordering new prints from you. If you, however, don’t sign off rights to your photos and someone else uses them by copying them, you may have to undergo the highly expensive legal process. It would require seeking redress in a court of law for unauthorized use of your photographs.

You may end up not getting the desired result you seek in the court which may mean significant financial loss.

See also: Photography Business: Financial Risks

Taking Time Off

This is for business owners seeking to gain ground in the business of photography. Photographers should fully dedicate time to work. Usually, this may mean working for long periods without taking time off to refresh. This is because the success of your business depends on your ability to keep your clients happy.

You may be lucky to find a qualified employee to handle administrative duties. However, hiring another photographer presents another risk altogether.

Equipment Risks

Another type of risk you are sure to face as a photography business owner is equipment risk. You may have an expensive piece of equipment stolen or damaged. This will represent a huge blow to your business. It will pose a significant loss in business income until the equipment is fixed or replaced as the case may be.


Every human endeavor comes with a measure of risk. The risks associated with. You may not fully realize these risks yet but it is wiser to safeguard against them. This will help to protect your business. Take measures that will reduce these risks. Some are getting a business insurance, such as general liability insurance, crime insurance, property insurance etc. These will cover risks associated with running a photography business.

Author: Arinze

A Photography enthusiastic. I work with a group of other professional photographers to provide you tips on photography

About Arinze

A Photography enthusiastic. I work with a group of other professional photographers to provide you tips on photography

View all posts by Arinze →

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