10 risks of being a photographer

For every stunning photograph, you see, there goes a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. Photographers go to great lengths to get the perfect shot. They often take beautiful photos from great heights or depths and go out in the wild to take great wildlife pictures. They also take a lot of risks taking real-time photographs of disasters, tragedies, big events, and more. We never see the process, but only the final product.

Photography can be a risky career choice. Hence, photographers should purchase photographers insurance that can help mitigate potential risks, both physical and financial.

Let’s take a look at the potential risks that photographers may face:


If you want to take fantastic pictures, you have to be present where the action is. However, when at a big event or in a deserted place, you run the risk of having your camera gear stolen. Photography equipment is expensive and can be a huge loss when stolen.

Thus, it is essential for photographers to be mindful of their surroundings all the time and take the necessary precautions. Besides getting sufficient insurance coverage, it is also necessary that you keep an eye on your equipment and your surroundings at all times.

Personal danger

There is a backstory to every iconic photograph there is. Most of these photographs have been shot in extreme conditions. A close captivating image of a natural disaster or a wild animal carries a lot of risk of bodily harm. A photographer needs to plan well and adjust according to the changing conditions when on such photoshoots.

Besides the personal danger, such photoshoots also pose an equal amount of danger for your equipment. Protecting yourself and your equipment from torrential rain, falling rocks, or high winds becomes imperative.

Health hazards

Photography also involves a lot of physical and psychological health hazards. Handling heavy equipment or being in dangerous positions for extended periods can put a photographer’s health at great risk. Since the situations may often turn chaotic, it also exposes their psychological health to risks. Photographers must take special care of themselves, their subjects, their equipment, and their employees.

Variable income

Most photographers are self-employed, except for the ones that work at studios. Being self-employed means that you often have to rely on referrals or self-promotion to find work. Like many businesses, an African Photography business may also have periods of fluctuating revenue. For instance, if you are an event photographer, you are more likely to find more work during the months when there are more graduations and weddings. The schedule of art galleries may affect the income of artistic photographers.

Also read about Online Colleges to Study online

It takes a lot of time and effort to carve a reputation for yourself and be in demand. Once you are in demand, photographers may earn handsomely. Till then, you have to bear the risk of having no fixed income unless you have other sources of earning.

Finding clients

Many photographers rely on repeat customers for a significant portion of their income. However, some types of photography may only require working with one client at a time. For instance, if you are a wedding photographer, the couple that hires you for their wedding may not need to hire you again. Those that specialize in a magazine or stock photography often have more repeat clients.

Photography is also a highly competitive industry. With high-tech equipment readily available, many amateur photographers may practically work for free to build a portfolio, which can hit your business. Many clients also prefer to use high-quality equipment to take their photos instead of hiring a photographer, or they hire someone who does photography as a hobby and not professionally to save money.

Legal liability

As a photographer, you often need to provide your services on a particular day, like an event or a wedding. However, if you are unable to attend the event due to a personal emergency, there are chances that your unhappy customers may sue you. If your customers are not entirely happy with your quality of work, they may refuse to pay you. You may purchase liability insurance to offset such risks. If you own a property that your customers visit, such insurance may be useful if any customer gets injured while on your property.


Copyright laws cover photographic images. Many photographers sign over their rights to an image. However, that can account for a loss in income from that particular photo. Photographers who retain the copyright of their images often run the risk of their images being copied and unlawfully used. When this happens, it usually results in a considerable loss of income for the photographer. You may resort to legal means in such cases, but lawsuits may be expensive with no guaranteed outcome.

Poor quality of work

Photographers are human too, and mistakes may happen. Poor quality of work can have a significant financial impact on your career. With the inferior quality of work, you also hurt your reputation, which may affect future work. Hence, you need to know the capabilities of your equipment and how they work inside out to ensure that you deliver high-quality work every time.

Losing important images

You may use state-of-the-art equipment for your assignments, but there is still a risk of equipment failure that could lead to the loss of images. There are risks that your memory card stops working, or you lose the images taken before the photoshoot is over. To avoid such risks, you must back up your work in two separate memory cards and transfer them to a laptop. If possible, you may also hire a Digital Technician responsible for backing up all your photographs while you shoot.

Clients not accepting your work

After long, tiring days of arduous work, there are risks that your clients may not accept your work. Instead of guessing whether your clients would like your work, allow them to review the images as you work and sign them off as compliant. If the client is not available at the shoot, make sure you include a clause in your terms and conditions that you, as the photographer, have the final say.

Photography, like any other business, has its risks. If you want to pursue it as a career, make sure you have measures in place to mitigate the risks.

Leave a Reply